Jason Calacanis Leaves AOL

Posted on November 16, 2006

TechCrunch reports that Jason Calacanis will be leaving AOL. Calacanis sold Weblogs, Inc. to AOL in October, 2005 and relaunched a digg-like Netscape in March, 2006. Those two AOL companies will now be managed without Calacanis and might even be sold to a new company if Time Warner unloads AOL. AOL also just purchased the Blogsmith software, used to build Weblogs, Inc. and some AOL blog networks, from Calacanis and Brian Alvey.

Nick Denton at Valleywag predicts Jason Calacanis will now try podcasting, wikis or some other internet media venture.

So, what next? My guess: a rapid re-entry, with a well-funded venture in internet media, probably podcasting or wiki directories, judging by the topics Calacanis covers in his personal writing. He'll be loud, infuriating -- and probably, irritatingly, successful.
Calacanis has not yet discussed leaving AOL except for a "no comment" on his post about the departure of AOL CEO Jon Miller.

Update 11-17-06

Jason Calacanis has confirmed that he is leaving AOL. The New York Times is now covering the story. The Times says Calacanis did not want to start over with a new CEO.

In recent months, Mr. Calacanis said he was considering leaving AOL to start a new company. His decision to resign was hastened by the news that Time Warner, AOL's parent, had replaced Mr. Miller with Randy Falco, the president of the NBC Universal Television Group.

"I'm not inclined to start over with a new guy," Mr. Calacanis said in an interview on Thursday. As for what to make of the treatment of Mr. Miller, who discovered he was being replaced after a reporter called AOL asking about Mr. Falco's appointment, Mr. Calacanis said only: "I'm perplexed. Why now?"

It will be interesting to see what AOL does with Weblogs, Inc. with Calacanis at the helm. Peter Rojas, the Editor-in-Chief of Weblog Inc's most popular blog Engadget, is staying with AOL according to Beet.tv.

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