DC Trawler

AOL: ‘Arianna’s the Overlord? Later!’

Well, okay, unlike Matt Lewis leaving AOL’s Politics Daily to join us here at TheDC, the two latest defections from America Online aren’t directly attributable to the Huffster. Here’s Engadget editor Paul Miller, announcing he just left after 5 years:

I’d love to be able to keep doing this forever, but unfortunately Engadget is owned by AOL, and AOL has proved an unwilling partner in this site’s evolution. It doesn’t take a veteran of the publishing world to realize that AOL has its heart in the wrong place with content. As detailed in the “AOL Way,” and borne out in personal experience, AOL sees content as a commodity it can sell ads against. That might make good business sense (though I doubt it), but it doesn’t promote good journalism or even good entertainment, and it doesn’t allow an ambitious team like the one I know and love at Engadget to thrive.

If you don’t know what “the AOL Way is,” click here. The short version: AOL employees are expected to be robots.

Another Engadget employee, Ross Miller (not sure if he’s related to Paul), also quit:

As for the reasons why, I won’t get too far into it. The AOL Way isn’t the sole reason, but it’s certainly a catalyst, a symptom of concerns I’ve had for a while. I worry about the long-term viability of what I foresee is the future business model. How our brand will be affected and how much control we’ll maintain over it. If we can continue to nurture the talent without burning them out. If we can get the needed resources to expand on our ideas. (Update: Just to be clear, Engadget is not currently subject to the AOL Way, and I’m not sure it ever will be. It’s not the driving reason behind why I left.)

Whew! That’s good, because it sounds like the AOL Way is to drive away talent.

(Hat tip: Mediaite)