The Ultimate Snub: AOL Buys The Huffington Post and Doesn’t Tell TechCrunch

As we reported earlier, AOL has acquired The Huffington Post for $315 million, the largest buy for a stand alone new media property that we can recall, let alone a new media network.

The size of the buy may be unprecedented in the history of new media, but there’s another interesting story to be told and one that might rock the tech blogosphere: TechCrunch was completely cut off from the deal, to the point that they weren’t even given the story under embargo.

The post announcing the news on TechCrunch hit the site at 9:24pm PST, some 23 minutes after the news was broken by (we think) the tech blogosphere’s best journalist Kara Swisher. But it’s more than that: Kara didn’t just break the story, she posted it complete with a video interview with Arianna Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong that had been pre-recorded prior to the announcement, indicating clearly that the Wall Street Journal publication had been given the exclusive over TechCrunch.

But it gets better, because not only was TechCrunch not given the information before the embargo, they weren’t afterward either. At the time of writing, TechCrunch quotes the press release of the deal, and appear to have been completely cut off from anyone in AOL, despite TechCrunch being owned by AOL.

We can only speculate at this time on the why, but with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington picking fights with other AOL properties, in particular Engadget, we can only suggest that perhaps Arrington has fallen out of favor among the AOL hierarchy, or even that he was purposely excluded in an attempt to force him out of the company.

Either way, TechCrunch, a site that has always prided itself on exclusives and breaking news, has now, with this deal, fallen on poorer times.

We’re betting that with Arianna Huffington as his boss, Michael Arrington won’t last the year working for AOL.

Disclosure, in a past life I wrote for TechCrunch