Over the past few months, some of the top members of the editorial team at tech website Engadget have been slipping away, defections many chalked up to dissatisfaction with parent company AOL and its eventual merger with the Huffington Post. Today, David Carr reports that many of them have ended up in an unlikely destination: SB Nation, a federation of sports websites. Engadget boss Joshua Topolsky and a half-dozen or so of his staff will create a new website with SBN, this one dedicated to the digital world. The transition makes more sense than you might initially think: SBN is run by Jim Bankoff, the former AOL executive who brought Engadget to the Internet giant in the first place. “This isn’t just about sports, or tech, or lone silos. What we will to build [sic] together at SB Nation is a new media company — buoyed by the absolutely incredible work SB Nation has already done in publishing — and part of that new media company will be the as-yet-unnamed gadget and technology site that I’ll be working over the next few months to create,” Topolsky wrote on his blog this morning. “When we launch (hopefully in the fall), I will be editor-in-chief of a property that I hope will inform, entertain, and engage fans of technology in whole new ways.” (AllThingsD has all of the nitty-gritty details on staffing.) This is a blow to AOL, which retains the shell of their massively popular Engadget property, but will now have to compete with the soul of the thing.
No Longer Shackled By AOL [NYT]