So first things first: We’re not being sold! Instead, we’ve just hired a bunch of brilliant writers and a new COO. Also, we have seen a resurgence of community support (with over a thousand people attending our NYC meetup last night, for example), are back at around 12% on the much-lauded Techmeme leaderboard and are gearing up for our NYC Disrupt conference.
Our traffic is up with regards to unique visits year over year and we are working on getting our pageviews up to pre-awful redesign levels. More importantly, we cheer stuff like “TechCrunch fuck yeah” all the time in our company Yammer, which for us is a better indicator of progress than all of the above.
Sure, being um, reporters, we heard the sale rumors too. At some point, Jason Calacanis was also supposedly somehow in, and all the other tech blogs somehow won the Mega Millions and coughed up tens of millions of dollars to buy us … We heard the rumors, but didn’t publish them. It’s actually amazing how much bullshit information/spin is out there (so be careful what you believe).
So what actually happened? Well according to our sources including Tim Armstrong himself officially, he and a gaggle of Aol folks decided it might be smart to turn TC, Engadget and some other tech properties (including some yet to be acquired) into a separate company/entity, valued at $200 million.
Because we’re in the middle of these exceptionally exuberant times, they set off to raise money from notable Valley VCs like Andreesen Horowitz and some other prominent angels, $40 million to be exact for a 20% share of whatever this ur-tech blog conglomerate would be. Aol would retain an 80% share according to what I’ve heard about the plan.
Eventually, as Armstrong alludes to in this Ad Age article, the plan was scrapped, and Aol decided it might be a better idea if it retained 100% ownership of its tech vertical as it views TechCrunch and Engadget as the “crown jewels” of its media properties. We mean, sure #humblebrag.
There’s sort of an unwritten (and eventually written) rule in blogging that you’re not supposed to attack smaller blogs, which sometimes makes it a challenge to respond when false information gets published. We figure this story got skewed because PandoDaily is going through its own troubles, and looking for a target to project its drama onto; Sometimes not wanting to seem weak makes you seem weak.
Unfortunately in this specific case the target was us. But, because it’s hard out here for a tech blog, we wish former co-worker Sarah Lacy and the rest of her talented team the best of luck.
Aside from that, as a news organization, we want to be the ones to tell you the truth, especially about our own company. You shouldn’t expect anything else, in return for your readership and trust.