When did TechCrunch make the move to WordPress.com? I took a look at the top WP.com blogs today, and it was listed there, which means it’s no longer self-hosted, it’s literally at WP.com, under their VIP hosting program.
I did a quick search of their site, but they say nothing about their migration. I can imagine it was a grueling piece of work given the sheer size of the site and their various content embeds, like CrunchBase. With Google’s help, I saw that CenterNetworks wrote a post on 2/8 where they asked and got confirmation that TC is indeed hosted at WP.com, so it looks like they migrated sometime in late January or early February 2010.
I completed my own migration to WordPress.com (albeit not under their VIP program) on January 31st, and support from WP was very hard to come by during my migration. Perhaps they were busy at work on the TC migration?
Back when TechCrunch was a smaller operation, they were hosted at Media Temple, and were continually running their banners on the site. Then they moved to the RackSpace cloud, presumably after they outgrew Media Temple’s Nitro service. Apparently RackSpace no longer sufficed, for whatever reason.
What I do know is that WP’s own VIP hosting program is a compelling choice for those who need that kind of horsepower. Pricing begins at $500/month, with a one-time setup fee of $1,500, and your site will pretty much be able to handle any kind of traffic that comes its way.