Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AOL Confirms Tim Stevens as New Engadget Editor in Chief

As BoomTown reported earlier, AOL has confirmed that Tim Stevens (pictured here in a classic Speed Racer pose, but see his real face below) will replace Josh Topolsky as editor in chief of Engadget.

Stevens has been working at the large tech gadget news and reviews site since 2007, most recently as its automotive editor.

Unusually, he was a part-timer at Engadget until a few months ago and lives several hours north of New York City, where AOL has its HQ. The company said Stevens will commute as necessary.

In his bio on the Engadget site, Stevens noted, in part, that he’s “an avid gamer, amateur motorsports enthusiast, lover of most outdoor activities, and proud creator of the first (and possibly only) two-player game for the Sega VMU.”

Geek credentials–check!

The appointment comes amid a fair bit of hubbub, with the announcement last night of a new competing tech site with eight new staff members, all of whom have recently left Engadget.

An Apple-obsessed, gadget-loving, nerdy-McNerd Gang of Eight!

That includes Topolsky, who is joining Jim Bankoff at his well-funded SB Nation sports and news start-up to launch the still-unnamed site.

Bankoff–in even more only-in-tech interconnectedness–was key to the purchase of Engadget many years ago when he was AOL’s top content exec.

An AOL spokesperson said in an email that “Engadget stays the same, with an obsessive focus on news.”

He correctly pointed out that “there’s a long tradition of handing down the editor in chief baton to someone from within: Pete Rojas to Ryan Block to Josh Topolsky to Tim Stevens.”

The site’s editorial director since 2009 has been Josh Fruhlinger. Recently promoted managing editor, Darren Murph, will also remain in the job at AOL.

In a statement to me, Fruhlinger said:

“As a member of Engadget since 2004, I know that we built our success on a commitment to what matters most to readers: staying focused on the latest technology news. Tim has a reputation for sharp news coverage and is a natural leader–our staffers are deeply loyal to him and stand behind him as we move on to the next generation of Engadget. Darren has an intuitive sense for discerning news and trends that matter. And we’re thrilled to be working with Arianna Huffington as part of The Huffington Post Media Group, as Arianna has a history of die-hard support for the work of journalists.”

Earlier Fruhlinger also tweeted: “In case anyone wondered, Engadget will be hitting tech news when we all wake up. Just like today. Just like 2004.”

Thus, everyone back to work as before!

Until more Engadget news is committed, here’s Stevens–who thinks he looks more like Racer X in the photo above–with an actual face on display (“I AM THE STIG” is yet another car-racing reference):

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work