Nobody has covered the beauty pageant of startup contestants and venture judges better than TechCrunch. They not only cheered on a generation of Silicon Valley dolls to dress their finest for the pump’n’dump cycle, they fucking owned the barn where the show was held.

So it’s hard to summon a pittance of pity for the mascara tears they’re now sporting. They knew this day was coming. When sugar daddy AOL, father of the Master Plan, pulled out the big checkbook to buy the prettiest doll of tech rags, did they really think it was true love?

Sure, they were all excited at the trophy wedding. TechCrunch was “delighted about becoming part of the AOL family,” and AOL’s PR department was thrilled that “[TechCrunch’s] reputation for top-class journalism precisely matches AOL’s commitment to delivering the expert content critical to this audience”.

But now it’s been 11 months since the check cleared, AOL daddy is all out of sugar, and the TechCrunch trophy is full of dust. Cue a drama worthy of the Bachelorette.