Engadget editors Topolsky, Patel exit; AOL Way not to blame [Update]

Engadget, an arguable leader in the technology blogosphere, has been suffering from resignations quite rapidly in the last three weeks. Paul Miller, an editor for Engadget, was the first one to hand in his letter and exit the company followed by Ross Miller just hours later. Both cited The AOL Way as the catalyst for their departure.

The AOL Way was an internal memo that was distributed amongst AOL's blogs, including Engadget, and then leaked on the Internet. The memo stressed the importance of generating revenue. Both Paul Miller and Ross Miller felt that The AOL Way was a hindrance towards journalism and that the company only cared to make money instead of producing compelling content.

Now, two more Engadget editors are exiting the website. While The AOL Way may have been the cause for Paul and Ross to leave, Editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky and Managing Editor Nilay Patel are both departing from the site for different reasons. Details of Patel's departure are slim to none, aside from a source telling All Things Digital that he has decided to leave, but Topolsky has already written his final article on Engadget issuing his goodbye statement.

In it, Topolsky writes: "[t]here are things I'm after and challenges I want to take on that just don't fit with my day-to-day schedule here, so off I go." Topolsky states that he will not be leaving the tech news arena and will continue to host some episodes of The Engadget Show.

Update: Patel updated his personal blog shortly after this article was written. According to his post, Patel actually left Engadget quietly a week ago on March 4th, saying he passed on a potential editor-in-chief position and citing that it's "the next five years that are critically important" for why he left.

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biased or not, too many editors from Engadget have quit in the recent weeks.

"AOL way or the highway" has bound to feature in the recent two departures as well.

I am someone who F5s Engadget daily. I've use both Macs and Windows systems. While it is true that Apple's hardware is definitely top notch, Engadget seriously does give them extreme favor. Reviews generally goes like this:

Mac Book Pro - Cons: Only has 2 USB ports, no Blu-ray drive, blah blah blah - 9/10 rating

Other Laptop: Cons: Battery life is kinda short - 7/10 rating

Apple TV - Cons: Doesn't support 2342 codecs, 720p only output - 9/10 rating

Other media streamer - Cons: UI kinda sucks - 7/10 rating

Personally, I think there are tons of options out there that are as good as iProducts in some way or another. It's all about sacrifice. Can't have the perfect product. There are several products that I would choose over iProduct because they serve more functions and features that meet my needs. On Engadget, if it is an iProduct and it is missing something, you don't need it that bad. If something else is missing something, that's a major problem.

I'm a big fan of Engadget's web site and knowing 2 more leaving the site. I most likely
start getting my tech news from other sources now. As always things change and people
move on.

I liked Topolsky on the Engadget show. I'll never forget when he was interviewing one of the lead project managers (or something?) for WP7 and pushing him on what was really different between so many of the WP7 phones that were set to be released, and why the US got the ****-end of the stick when it came to hardware (compared to other regions).

damn, engadget is my favorite site for news and I really liked topolsky as a person. bummed to see him leave. interested to see where he goes next, I guess I'll be watching his twitter

These days it seems like a tech blog has to actively bash Apple to be considered non-Apple-fanboys. I've always found that Engadget backs their review conclusions up with reasonable factors, though they lean on the positive side (for any product from anyone). And their prose has been more professional and well-written than most other tech blogs.

Either way, I don't think this development bodes well for Engadget. He was their top guy, after all.

Full disclosure: I'm a Mac user. I generally like Apple products, but I despise the company's practices.

Topolsky LMAO
good riddance, that guy is an apple fanboy.
people have been complaining about the apple bias on there for the longest time...

chago12 said,
Topolsky LMAO
good riddance, that guy is an apple fanboy.
people have been complaining about the apple bias on there for the longest time...

But how much is due to revenue pressure? Fact is they make more money if they praise Apple.
AOL might encourage this.

Sacha said,

But how much is due to revenue pressure? Fact is they make more money if they praise Apple.
AOL might encourage this.

They right any article praising Apple for something (deserved or not) and their comments section explodes. Thats gotta be worth some money right there.

chago12 said,
Topolsky LMAO
good riddance, that guy is an apple fanboy.
people have been complaining about the apple bias on there for the longest time...

So why didn't they just stop browsing the site.
Anyway personally, I found Engadget to be pretty spot on.
But of course Apple devices can never be better than Android?, damn Android fanboys.

SoulEata said,
I think after Fallon brought Topolsky on his show, he's wanted to be on TV. That's what he's after.

maybe, I'm guessing he wont be on it anymore. I'm a big jimmy fallon fan. it'd be cool if they still got him to come on the show.

engadget is a poorly disguised apple tech blog,the bias poors out in nearly every article even if it's not apple related. N o way it could get worse so any change is welcome

swanlee said,
engadget is a poorly disguised apple tech blog,the bias poors out in nearly every article even if it's not apple related. N o way it could get worse so any change is welcome

It is funny how relentless the anti-Apple trolls are there. If what you say is true, then why even visit the web site? Idiocracy? I think that Fox News has a strong right-wing bias (for instance), and I disagree with the way they spin everything to the right. So do I make it a point to login and troll their writers at every chance, pointing out that they have a right-wing bias? Hell, no. I have better things to do with my time. That apparently isn't the case with the anti-Apple trolls that lurk all over Engadget. Sad, really.

Shadrack said,

It is funny how relentless the anti-Apple trolls are there. If what you say is true, then why even visit the web site? Idiocracy? I think that Fox News has a strong right-wing bias (for instance), and I disagree with the way they spin everything to the right. So do I make it a point to login and troll their writers at every chance, pointing out that they have a right-wing bias? Hell, no. I have better things to do with my time. That apparently isn't the case with the anti-Apple trolls that lurk all over Engadget. Sad, really.


Ok how about the iPad 2 article they had up about backlight bleeding, they put up a poll asking wether people had the issues or not then the poll mysteriously dissappeared because it showed that loads of people had the backlight issues.

They have an Apple bias and just because you think everyone who hates Apple are biased against them doesnt make it true.

Jenson said,
They have an Apple bias and just because you think everyone who hates Apple are biased against them doesnt make it true.

And Neowin has heavy Windows bias, what's your point exactly?

Try saying "Windows 7 sucks because X X X" in the opinion forum and prepare to get blown out by apologists.

Shadrack said,

It is funny how relentless the anti-Apple trolls are there. If what you say is true, then why even visit the web site? Idiocracy? I think that Fox News has a strong right-wing bias (for instance), and I disagree with the way they spin everything to the right. So do I make it a point to login and troll their writers at every chance, pointing out that they have a right-wing bias? Hell, no. I have better things to do with my time. That apparently isn't the case with the anti-Apple trolls that lurk all over Engadget. Sad, really.

Please dude I guess if you are an Apple fanboy you don't notice the horrible bias and the constant 24hr coverage of anything Apple at engadget. But for us normal people that have devices from various companies and buy our technology based on need not because it has a symbol on it it is obvious Engadget is an apple supported site.

Every apple product gets at least 1-2 points score bonus simply for being apple, and they must post at least several apple posts a day. Also in certain apple events they literally posts dozens and dozens of apple articles instead of consolidating them. Also factor in all the snide pro apple comments within articles on non apple products and the entire cycle of pushing apple on Engadget gets pretty old.

Wow, if you can't see how Engadget is Apple bias, then you clearly need to [re]visit the site. One can still go to Engadget and use the excludes Apple tag in the URL to get rid of all Apple related stories.

In any case, who the hell cares? They are all decent writers, but there are much better tech news sites out there.

Jenson said,

Ok how about the iPad 2 article they had up about backlight bleeding, they put up a poll asking wether people had the issues or not then the poll mysteriously dissappeared because it showed that loads of people had the backlight issues.

Did the poll really show that loads of people have the backlight issue, or was it removed because a lot of anti-Apple people who don't own an iPad 2 voted yes anyways?

dagamer34 said,
Does it matter what caused them to leave? Engadget isn't going to be as great without them!

not if it becomes even more of an advert site for apple it won't. You can easily see bias in alot of the articles, purposely removing features from product comparion tables etc.

dagamer34 said,
Does it matter what caused them to leave? Engadget isn't going to be as great without them!

You think? I think fresh blood is always good, plus Josh was always an Apple fanboy, which I dont mind but he took it to another level. Patel was cool, sad to see him go.

torrentthief said,

not if it becomes even more of an advert site for apple it won't. You can easily see bias in alot of the articles, purposely removing features from product comparion tables etc.

agreed 100%

DJ Woody said,

You think? I think fresh blood is always good, plus Josh was always an Apple fanboy, which I dont mind but he took it to another level. Patel was cool, sad to see him go.

It's funny someone can use a Dell Laptop and a Dell Streak phone and they aren't a Dell fanboy. But someone owns an Apple Laptop and an iPhone and they are labelled an Apple Fanboy. The guy owned two Apple products and he reported on all electronic gadgets evenly including other mobile phones and notebooks and all manner of devices. If you asked him about the Apple TV he would say it was a poor product compared to others like the Boxee Box.

Just because someone uses a product doesn't mean they bow down to the almighty Steve Jobs and lap up everything Apple does.

DJ Woody said,

You think? I think fresh blood is always good, plus Josh was always an Apple fanboy, which I dont mind but he took it to another level. Patel was cool, sad to see him go.

I guess everyone forgets he actually is a bigger fan of Palm than Apple.

Vice said,

It's funny someone can use a Dell Laptop and a Dell Streak phone and they aren't a Dell fanboy. But someone owns an Apple Laptop and an iPhone and they are labelled an Apple Fanboy. The guy owned two Apple products and he reported on all electronic gadgets evenly including other mobile phones and notebooks and all manner of devices. If you asked him about the Apple TV he would say it was a poor product compared to others like the Boxee Box.

Just because someone uses a product doesn't mean they bow down to the almighty Steve Jobs and lap up everything Apple does.

Yup. I've never owned an Apple product, but I'm not somehow offended by Topolsky's ownership of iMerch. Across the board, Engadget writers mocked the "You're holding it wrong" debacle, recommended Roku over AppleTV, never tired of reporting on every tiny little Android release, and admired the GUI of Windows Phone 7 (and I heard it first at Engadget that WP7's market hit 10k apps).

Granted, they fell into the same hyperjudgmentalism of WP7's update problems on Samsung handsets compared to their reporting of Galaxy S update horrors, but that was pretty much EVERY tech blog. Hardware issues are sort of old news when it comes to open platforms, I guess, so when Android goes wonky on one phone or another, people just kinda shrug it off as if to say "Well thank god it wasn't wifi in Linux five years ago".

torrentthief said,

not if it becomes even more of an advert site for apple it won't. You can easily see bias in alot of the articles, purposely removing features from product comparion tables etc.

Ironically enough, you posted this on a microsoft advert site.