The Patch, an AOL company, Shows Decline with Hundreds of sites possibly closing

It was reported this week that Patch will be laying off hundreds of employees and possibly closing hundreds of sites down. 

Techcrunch.com reports, “We reported yesterday that AOL’s hyper-local news service would lose hundreds of employees today, and now we have confirmation from a well-placed Patcher privy to the call that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong did indeed confirm to employees that hundreds would be laid off, with notifications of who will be let go coming throughout the coming week. (Disclosure: AOL owns TechCrunch). In a call Armstrong held with the Patch team today, he explained that “AOL is going to be running the show” at the restructured Patch along with new CEO Bud Rosenthal. Rosenthal replaces outgoing CEO Steve Kalin, who was reported to be getting the boot earlier this week. 400 Patch sites will be closed or partnered with outside sites over the coming week as part of the changes being made at Patch to try and turn things around, ArmstrongPatch-Logo explained on the call, but also reassured the Patch staff that the company is behind the initiative and told them…” Read more at www.Techcrunch.com

Poynter.com quotes “…that AOL would sell or close as many as 300 underperforming Patch sites.

In the call Friday, Armstrong said Patch would spend the next week looking at options for 400 of the local news initiative’s 900 sites. They’ll fold or Patch will find partners to run them. “We’re going to become a fast-moving company and fast-moving partner company,” Armstrong said. Nicholas Carlson reported Thursday that AOL wouldn’t address a rumor that Patch CEO Steve Kalin and Chief Content Officer Rachel Feddersen were leaving the company. TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington is reporting that Armstrong “will be running the show along with new CEO Bud Rosenthal.”

 

“Etherington also reports one of the weirder stories to come out of this call: In a somewhat dramatic twist, Armstrong reportedly fired an employee who took his photo in front of the 1,000 people in attendance on the call, which our tipster characterized as “shameful and disgusting.” Richard Horgan also reports that Bud Rosenthal is the new CEO of Patch. Pressfolios announced it would give three free months of its service, which allows journalists to back up their work, to Patch employees “impacted” by these changes. As of this morning, Pressfolios cofounder Marc Samson tells Poynter in an email, 42 people have taken the company up on its offer. I haven’t had any luck getting comment from Patch this week, but I’m still trying.” From www.Poynter.com

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