Popular Blog Download Squad Given the Ax by AOL

By Beecher Tuttle April 12, 2011

When AOL acquired the Huffington Post earlier this year – and handed over the reins of its content to the left-leaning news service's co-founder Arianna Huffington – it became obvious that major changes were going to be made. However, no one expected this.

Late Monday evening, AOL/Huffington Post shut down the highly acclaimed and exceedingly popular software blog Download Squad as part of its consolidation strategy.

The news of the shutdown did not come from AOL itself, but rather from Download Squad's editor, Sebastian Anthony, who relayed the news via Twitter.

"It's hard to believe, but, yes, @DownloadSquad is shutting down," Anthony tweeted on Monday night, according to Mashable. The now defunct blog's editor later added: “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.”

Apparently, the blog staff was notified of the move in a late-day email that explained that they were out of a job, effective immediately. The site is still available as of today, but the last post was dated on April 11. The official announcement of the blog's closing is expected to come sometime today.

By nixing Download Squad, Huffington is clearly indicating that no blog in her new network is safe. Download Squad is known as a popular and well-crafted blog that covers all things software. The site, which was acquired by AOL as part of the 2005 Weblogs network purchase, was named one of the top 10 best-written blogs by Computer World in 2008.

Huffington has made several similar moves since she was named president and editor-in-chief of the newly created media group. Just last month, AOL consolidated its content sites by assimilating as many as 30 brands – including Politics Daily and TV Squad – into other properties. Moreover, AOL/Huffington Post cleared out many of its bloggers last week, while moving a few others to full-time positions.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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