With 600,000+ feed readers, we figured TechCrunch proprietor Michael Arrington ought to be able to have a go at making a real business out of the tech site network. Thus our prediction last week that TC would ultimately sell for big money. And perhaps the moves Valleywag is reporting today–pay cuts and firings at TechCrunch subsidiary sites–are just the first Jack Welch-like trimmings of a man who has discovered a gold mine and wants to get serious about exploiting it.
Or, perhaps, the moves (if true) are a sign that the TechCrunch pooh-poohers are right, and Arrington & Co. have decided that their cash burn will ultimately incinerate them. Given the size of TechCrunch’s readership and the success of the recent TC40 conference, we find this hard to believe. But it is a rare company indeed that slashes salaries and staff when business is going swimmingly.
TechCrunch’s CrunchGear editor John Biggs argues to Valleywag the “cuts” are of the former variety: The building of a dedicated CrunchGear salesforce requiring that writers be put “on hiatus” for a while. This explanation sounds tortured, and we assume that, as the former editor of Gizmodo, Mr. Biggs is no stranger to spin.
(But perhaps there’s another positive spin, one that Mr. Biggs can’t avail himself of because his head is the next on the chopping block: Perhaps TechCrunch’s new senior editor, Erick Schonfeld, has decided that the CrunchGear writers stink.)