Arrington Out During TechCrunch's Disrupt

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, only a year removed from a merger and investment from AOL, is no longer with the blog. It's been a long goodbye for the vocal editor -- ever since he put together $20 million as a venture capital fund.

Arrington made the announcement during the opening event at this year's TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.

Acting editor Erick Schonfeld has been promoted to editor of the blog.

Arrington's fund violated, for many, the separation of "church and state" that journalists ethically practice. That is, journos do not get involved with what they cover.

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TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington definitely speaks his mind -- sometimes profanely. He also puts his money (and others') where his mouth is, or at least where he thinks it best.

AOL, his new boss, has also put its money where Arrington is heading, by investing in his startup investment fund. Negotiations around that investment involve Arrington leaving the editorial side of things. Those negotiations are ongoing -- and AOL's story has been playing out with three headline characters that are soap opera fodder.

Arrington, CEO Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington are all worthy of a biography or two on A&E.

But will they devolve this week, during Disrupt -- a high-profile and lucrative spectacle? Doubtful. They probably want to keep their collective eyes on the prize, which is the 'brand.' And on the hundreds of vendors, startups, attendees and, yes, sponsors that paid cash money to help their stories get told to the right kind of audience.

Kara Swisher's take on this unfolding story has been flowing for a few weeks, and her use of "Silicon Valley pig pile" is just damned good.

We'll see how this week plays out. NBC Bay Area is hitting the Disrupt with note-taking devices, a camera or two and a press pass to the soaps. More soon...

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