Friday, August 9, 2013

UPDATE: Patch Won't Hold Massive Leak of Staffers Next Week

The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More than 550 staffers may be pink-slipped next week and as many as 400 Patch hyperlocal news sites may be shuttered unless partners can be found to run them, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said today.

According to news media accounts, including the New York Observer, and the AOL-owned TechCrunch, two days after Armstrong's earnings call to investors (see "TUOL" post 8/7/13), AOL will focus next week on 400 of the 900 Patch sites that are far-removed from fulfilling AOL's goal of Patch profitability by the end of the year.

AOL bought Patch in 2009 when Armstrong, who launched Patch in 2007, took the helm of AOL. Patch's costs have already been trimmed by a quarter this year.  Reports that Patch CEO Steve Kalin and Chief Content Officer Rachel Feddersen are headed out the door were not confirmed by Armstrong.

Armstrong took some flak from TechCrunch for using the word impacts, rather than layoffs, in discussing the fate of editorial staffers, who soon may feel as if they ran into a brick wall, and would likely find impact more appropos.  AOL also has been taken to task in press accounts for the relative short notice given to employees.
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