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4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

In this week’s 4MR podcast I look at the recent shopping spree by AOL, including buying tech news blog TechCrunch for more than $30 million. PaidContent founder Rafat Ali tells me what TechCrunch needed to do to finally seal the deal. And I also talked with Knight Foundation’s director of digital media, John Bracken, about recent changes in the Knight News Challenge contest for next year’s entrants.

Check it out:

4mrbareaudio10810.mp3

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Listen to my entire interview with Rafat Ali:

rafat aol full.mp3

Background music is “What the World Needs” by the The Ukelele Hipster Kings via PodSafe Music Network.

Here are some links to related sites and stories mentioned in the podcast:

AOL Tried To Buy TechCrunch Twice Before at Business Insider

AOL Officially Announces Acquisition of 5Min at MediaMemo

AOL Will Buy TechCrunch, Mike Arrington and All at ClickZ

AOL Acquires TechCrunch at PaidContent

AOL’s Wild Acquisition Day Concludes With Thing Labs, Maker of Brizzly at PaidContent

5th Knight News Challenge Opens For Entries Oct. 25 at Knight Foundation

Knight News Challenge ’11 focuses on new areas at Lost Remote

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about what you think about AOL buying TechCrunch:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.


i-59e41f7d887bee107a310677b0f93a1e-news21 small.jpg

4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.