AOL could announce TechCrunch acquisition today

AOL is about to buy TechCrunch, the online blogging network founded by the cuddly Michael Arrington, the Wall Street Journalreports.

It’s a logical move: the company’s acquisition of Engadget parent Weblogs has done much to help it compensate for its alarming loss of traffic over the last few years.

Indeed, AOL’s attempted to acquire TechCrunch before, and is believed to have walked away only when the price hit $40 million. Another problem, which still remains, is that much of TechCrunch’s revenues come from the conference business, which is unlikely to be of much interest to AOL.

AOL is currently pursuing a strategy of trying to up the quality and quantity of its editorial content, recently advertising for hundreds of new writers. It’s been rumored to be looking to buy another technology blog for some time, with Mashable suggested as one candidate.

TechCrunch was founded in 2005 and has a number of more specialized sites beyond the eponymous blog. It claims to have 9.2 million unique visitors and 30 million page views per month.

It has a conference going on right now in San Francisco, at which the deal may be announced.

One presumes that Arrington will remain with the title – it’s so closely associated with its founder that, without him, AOL could be buying little more than a name. A former lawyer, Arrogant – sorry, Arrington – is known for his outspoken views on the industry.