Sounds like a weird fit at first, tech writers starting a new site for a sports blog network? But SB Nation has become a publishing giant, so this will be an interesting experiment to see how the network can expand their offerings.
Like many of its peers covering Silicon Valley, Engadget worked as a kind of permanent start-up, with 16-hour days to compete in the always-on news cycle, but AOL treated it as one more niche site. “We have been working on blogging technology that was developed in 2003, we haven’t made a hire since I started running the site, and I thought we could be more successful elsewhere,” said Joshua Topolsky, who was the editor of Engadget until the middle of last month.
So Mr. Topolsky and as many as eight of the more prominent editorial and technology staff members at Engadget have left or are leaving AOL and are about to build a new gadget site by joining forces with, yes, you guessed right, their old friend Mr. Bankoff, who now runs a federation of sports sites called SB Nation.
While there may still be a brand called Engadget at AOL, the people who made it a highly regarded site in a crowded category will be gone.
“We had done what we could with the resources that were given to us and taken it as far as it would go,” Mr. Topolsky said. “I know and trust Jim, and he gets what we do. After looking under the hood of what they have in terms of technology, we’re very excited about what we will be able to do there.”