Articles about "AOL"


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How AOL maintains editorial independence in Ford-sponsored ‘This Built America’ series

When an AOL team with an editorial vision joined a video production team with an artistic vision to launch an ambitious 50-week series about people and companies rebuilding America, it was clear they needed a brand to help fund it.

They found a top-dollar one in Ford Trucks.

But despite the sponsorship (worth just under $10 million, Ad Age reports), “This Built America” is journalism through and through, said AOL’s Fara Warner, the project’s editorial director.… Read more

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Tim Armstrong: AOL will keep ‘meaningful minority interest’ in Patch

AOL | Business Insider

AOL announced Wednesday that it has given up its majority ownership of Patch. In an email to staffers, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said the new majority owner, a company called Hale Global, will be responsible for Patch’s “pivot.”

That means the network of sites “isn’t AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s problem anymore,” Nicholas Carlson writes.

Patch employees will have a call this afternoon to discuss what this all means. In an email to Patch folks, Patch CEO Bud Rosenthal said anyone who has questions should “please feel free to speak to your HR representative anytime.”
Full memo:… Read more

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David Carr reported Sunday in The New York Times on the future of Patch and the vision that’s kept it alive so far. In a phone interview with Carr, Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, continued defending the project he first envisioned.

At the end of the day, could Patch have been run better? We don’t know,” he said. “We were doing this while we navigated turning around the rest of the company. Patch was one of the big bets that we made, among others, and I still believe local will be a big opportunity whether it is Patch or someone else.”

David Carr

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Ad revenue rises at AOL, but Patch weighs on results

Reuters | Forbes

AOL announced its third quarter earnings Tuesday. Ad revenue grew at the company, but expenses related to Patch weighed on results.

Ad revenue grew 14 percent over the third quarter of 2012 and, as Reuters reports, “the digital media and entertainment company said on Tuesday it took a pre-tax restructuring charge of $19 million and an impairment charge of $25 million, both related to Patch, sending operating income down 61 percent to $16.7 million.”

“AOL’s Q3 results are another step forward in our long-term plan,” Tim Armstrong, AOL Chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “The Q3 results highlight the strength of AOL’s strategy and the consistent execution of our team in delivering great consumer experiences and successful customer results.”

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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.Read more

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Tim Armstrong apologizes for publicly firing Abel Lenz

“I acted too quickly and I learned a tremendous lesson and I wanted you to hear that directly from me,” AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong writes in a note to staffers. He says he apologized to Lenz, who he says he’d spoken to previously about not recording confidential meetings.

The email’s subject line is “Accountability starts with me.”

Jim Romenesko published audio of the call on Saturday.… Read more

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No layoffs at Patch today

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Patch editors Friday there would be no “impacts,” or layoffs announced today. The “impacts” will arrive on a rolling basis over the next week, he said.

Armstrong said in an earnings call earlier this week 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.… Read more

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AOL will close or sell unprofitable Patch sites

Forbes | Street Fight

In AOL’s earnings call, CEO Tim Armstrong talked about Patch, revealing “how he plans to keep his promise to make the network of local news websites profitable by the end of 2013: by closing, selling or finding partners for the 300 or so Patch sites that, in the company’s estimation, aren’t on a course to break even anytime soon,” Jeff Bercovici reports.

Newspaper sites may be potential suitors, Armstrong said in Bercovici’s account.

Armstrong didn’t say exactly what Patch’s revenues or costs would look like after disposing of the bottom third, but, in response to an analyst’s question, he did say that the average cost of a Patch site is “much, much lower” than the $150,000 it peaked at two years ago.

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Revenues rise at AOL, 21st Century Fox

AOL | The Wall Street Journal | 21st Century Fox | The New York Times

AOL is buying the video advertising platform Adap.tv, it announced in its second-quarter earnings report Wednesday. The acquisition “will make AOL a clear global leader in the most important growth segment in our industry — online video,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement. Advertising revenue at AOL was up 7 percent over the second quarter of 2012.

Revenue at AOL’s Brand Group, which includes content properties like The Huffington Post and Patch, was up 10 percent over the second quarter. The report does not break out financial information on individual properties. Unique visitors were up 3 percent at AOL properties, the company says:

21st Century Fox, which includes the cable-TV and television businesses once part of News Corp., reported a 16 percent increase in revenue over the fourth quarter of 2012.… Read more

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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.

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