Huffington Post Shuts Down Software Blog Download Squad

It seems like no blog or writer is safe under the new AOL/Huffington Post merger. In a surprising move last night, popular software blog Download Squad was shut down. In an end-of-the-day email, staff for Download Squad were told that the blog was closed and they were jobless – effective immediately.

This doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m sure many other people – last week in the Huffington Post/AOL merger, news… the company sent an email to freelance writers informing them that their services were no longer needed, but if they wanted to,  they could still write for free. This did not sit well with higher-up Arianna Huffington, and the person who sent that email, along with the freelancers, was fired.

The editor of Download Squad, Sebastian Anthony, seemed more than a tad surprised and upset over the move, tweeting, “In a world where software is moving towards ubiquity, AOL-HuffPo has seen fit to shut down the best software blog on the Web. Insane.”

Last month when Arianna Huffington became Editor in Chief of 56 sites, she took the reins to make big changes, including folding 30 blogs into other properties that she saw as “stronger” than the absorbed brands.

Download Squad was a part of AOL Tech, a ring which includes/included TechCrunch, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Massively, WoW Insider, Joystiq, Switched, and Engadget. Engadget’s editor walked out over the weekend of March 12.

If you ask me, I think Huffington needs to slow it down a bit. AOL used to be a respectable service, but over the past several years has diluted itself to a point of being almost a joke within the realm of the Internet. For Huffington to come through and demolish plenty of jobs and blogs does not speak well for her intentions – making money by ANY means necessary, even at the cost of others’ livelihoods.

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