Engadget’s editor-in-chief Ryan Block will be leaving parent company AOL shortly, sources say, to launch a new startup. Partnering with him on the new company will be Peter Rojas, Engadget’s former editor-in-chief (pictured left below, next to Block).
Block officially became Engadget’s chief editor in June 2007 (although he actually took over the site in early 2006). He took the spot after founding editor in chief Rojas left the blog full time. Rojas went on to launch RCRD LBL in late 2007, an online record label that distributes free music.
Rojas will stay with RCRD LBL and will be working with Block part time on the new project, one source says.
The new startup will be a content site around technology, we’ve heard, but won’t be a blog. It may be a forum/social network based site to create lots of user generated content. What will it be called? We perused the 39 domain names that Block owns and one stood out because he also registered the .net and .org versions (all other domains he owns are .com): Devixe. Is that the new name of the startup? From what we’ve heard, it’s only one name that is being considered.
A lot of this is still speculation, and Block isn’t saying much other than he is still with AOL and has not resigned. As to whether he plans to in the near future, and whether he intends to launch Devixe or another site with Rojas, he won’t comment.
If he leaves, Block’s likely replacement as editor in chief is Josh Fruhlinger, the current managing editor and Block’s no. 2 at Engadget. Senior editor Thomas Ricker and senior associate editor Joshua Topolsky are other candidates, although Ricker lives in Amsterdam and Topolsky is also a music producer. Fruhlinger is the likely replacement.