Patch gets new CEO, lays off staffers

All Things D

Steve Kalin is Patch’s new CEO, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Patch employees in an email Friday. Patch will also make several motions that Armstrong writes will “move Patch meaningfully toward profitability.” Among them: layoffs.

The changes we are making at Patch, however, come with the difficult decision to eliminate some positions. These employees have contributed greatly to Patch’s business with passion and dedication. We sincerely thank them for all they have done to make Patch what it is today. Their impact will always be felt here. We wish all affected employees continued success. They are truly Patchers for life.

Via email, Patch spokesperson Joe Wiggins replied affirmatively when Poynter asked whether editorial jobs would be among those going. He sent along this statement:

Patch is streamlining its regional editorial structure across the country by moving from 20 to nine teams. We are implementing this team approach based on the success of our field tests earlier this year. The team approach allows for flexibility based on the unique needs of each community and the strengths of our editors. We are not reducing our number of sites or our coverage area as a result of this change.

Making these important changes came with the difficult decision to eliminate some positions. We recognize these changes are painful for individuals and for our organization – and we are committed to handling the people impacted with care and sensitivity.

The company will host a “Patch All-Company call” at 6 p.m. ET Friday.

Last fall, Patch began rolling out a new site design. The new design means editors will be “taking a less central role,” Laura Hazard Owen reported at the time. “We’re not doing a pivot,” Patch content honcho Rachel Feddersen told Jeff Bercovici. “This is an amplification. The redesign doesn’t take anything away from the journalism we’re creating.”

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