TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington just announced that his technology blog will be rolling out significant enhancements to the site next week including a new design, new logo and new content from its sister sites CrunchGear, MobileCrunch and TechCrunch IT, which will be shutting down. All of those sites will be under the TechCrunch domain and the old URLs will redirect. The regional websites such as TechCrunch EU, TechCrunch France and TechCrunch Japan will still be separate sites on the TechCrunch.com domain.
Arrington writes that plans for the redesign began last summer before being bought by AOL. After the AOL acquisition, Dave Feldman, Director Consumer Experience at AOL took the lead and brought in additional resources.
It makes sense for TechCrunch to tighten up its act, particularly absorbing CrunchGear and MobileCrunch since AOL also owns Engadget, which dominates in both of those editorial territories. We’ve been speculating on the fate of CrunchGear for quite sometime in terms of that relationship and one has to wonder why TechCrunch even needs those two properties. Further to that point, will we see layoffs from the three sister sites in the near future?