Layoffs hit Patch

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Patch employees in a conference call Friday the widely reported layoffs at the site will occur today. 60 percent of Patch sites had “real traction,” he said, 20 percent had “significant traction” and another 20 percent would be sold or consolidated. Armstrong said he’d had meetings with major media companies about the Patch sites. Employees were told to await an email, apparently with details about another conference call.

I’ve also heard that some Patchers were fired in a separate phone call at 11 a.m. and told their last paycheck would be Aug. 23. Darrell Etherington says he’s confirmed that with another source. Several people who are staying have told me Patch bigs told them they were on the “go forward team.”

Peter Kafka’s sources say “AOL will immediately let go of about 350 Patch employees.

Up to 150 more will be told their jobs are in limbo while AOL tries to find other media companies to operate some underperforming Patch sites. If it can’t find partners, those employees will also be out of work.

I’ve asked Patch for comment.

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  • Photodude719

    Patch just asked their local editors to do too much. That contributed heavily to the lack of news on their websites. And if there wasn’t a competent editor, the websites were even worse. Given their reputation, it will be difficult to get someone to purchase a website. If AOL really wanted to send a message, they should give away the websites to the communities they cover. That way they are at least giving back, versus swooping in as big business competing against local businesses.

  • digidave

    Is there a list anywhere of which Patch’s are going to close?

  • markisenberg

    A lot of local Patch sites are just not news worthy enough to continue.Like my local Clearwater and possibly East Lake(Palm Harbor) ones. Local editors did not do enough to find news compared to fluff of residents around them.