Articles about "Patch"


Local reporting is suffering from a ‘gradual erosion’

The Washington Post | Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Local reporting is suffering from a "gradual erosion," Paul Farhi writes in a piece bouncing off Pew's new State of the News Media report. The economics of digital publishing are especially brutal to local news, Farhi writes:
In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place. Conversely, sites that report and comment on national and international events draw from a worldwide audience, making it relatively easier to aggregate a large audience and the ad dollars that come with it.
Publishers that cover national and international news account for 60 percent of new jobs in digital publishing, Farhi writes, while newspapers continue to cut jobs, usually from their local staffs. Small operations and nonprofits can fill the gap -- Scott Brodbeck's Local News Now in the Washington, D.C., area, employs three journalists and sales director and is profitable -- but many are "financially precarious." And, of course, there's the Patch saga.

But you don't have to go back to Watergate, or even 2012, to find examples of local stories piercing the veil that separates them from national news. The Bergen Record pushed "Bridgegate" into the lights after a traffic reporter, John Cichowski, and a reporter who covers the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Shawn Boburg, connected the dots on an epic traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia was touted as a possible 2016 presidential candidate (and reportedly made Mitt Romney's shortlist for veep) before Washington Post reporters unreeled the story of his ties to a wealthy donor. And West Virginia reporters rode point on the story of a chemical spill that affected 300,000 people's drinking water.

Unfortunately, local news lacks the cachet of long-form or investigative journalism, both of which successful digital operations like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post have been able to subsidize as part of their overall bundles. The latter has "always been high-cost content that produced a very low — if any — return in increased circulation and advertising revenue," Jack Shafer wrote in February in a column about the "new Medicis" funding journalism as a public good -- Pierre Omidyar, Farhi's boss Jeff Bezos, Neil Barsky of the Marshall Project (which just announced the hire of The Guardian's Gabriel Dance). (more...)
Tools:
0 Comments
Depositphotos_36033363ssmall

How laid-off journalists can stay afloat while the industry moves ‘to new moorings’

When Patch laid me off along with many other editors last May, I remember thinking I should have left sooner.

I received a severance but then faced tough competition from dozens of downsized journalists, all chasing after what seemed … Read more

Tools:
4 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 6.03.09 AM

Through Facebook, current and former Patch employees stay connected

Hank Kalet shared this shot of Patch merch on Facebook. Photo by Hank Kalet.
Jim Romenesko | Business Insider Two years ago, Hank Kalet found out he no longer worked for Patch at a New Jersey coffee shop with his supervisor and someone from HR. Today, he learned that hundreds more Patch employees were laid off through a former editor on Facebook. Not too long ago, Kalet joined the Patch alumni group, a closed page on Facebook. That page currently has 452 members, former Patch editor Anthony Leone told Poynter via phone. "And I wouldn't be surprised if that grows by the end of the day," he said. (more...)
Tools:
4 Comments

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: (more...)
Tools:
0 Comments

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

Tools:
0 Comments

Patch co-founder leaves AOL

All Things D | JimRomenesko.com
Jon Brod, co-founder of AOL Ventures and Patch, is leaving AOL, Peter Kafka reported Monday in All Things D.
The news isn’t a huge shock, as AOL Ventures has been in a bit of limbo for a while, and Brod was moved there last spring after his second run heading Patch, CEO Tim Armstrong’s big and troubled bet on local news. (more...)
Tools:
0 Comments

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.”

major job cuts. (more...)
Tools:
2 Comments

Content will vanish from shuttered Patch sites

In a post on Facebook, Mark Maley says all content on Milwaukee-area Patch sites will get zapped when the sites close. "That includes our outstanding political coverage of the Wisconsin recall and presidential elections, our top-notch coverage of the Sikh temple shooting and other breaking news, hard-hitting investigative stories about the suburbs and thousands of wonderful feature stories about the people who live here," Maley writes.

"For the sites that are closing, editors have been instructed to archive for themselves content they wish to save, AOL director of corporate communications Doug Serton says in an email to Poynter. "There are not plans to make content publicly available after sites close."

Maley wrote Aug. 16 that he was one of the Patch editors who lost their jobs in the company's reorganization. In a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, new Patch CEO Bud Rosenthal said a "handful of sites will close on Oct. 7 to optimize our closing procedures."

"It's just sad when I think about all the hard work the editors put into this -- and how it's all going to vanish soon," Maley writes.

Related: I wrote in July about a former employer deleting all the content from a site I used to work for (Medium)
Tools:
1 Comment

Patch reporter ordered to reveal source or face jail, fines

Chicago Sun-Times
Patch reporter Joseph Hosey must give up the source of police reports about a grisly murder he covered or face jail, Will County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney ruled Friday.

SouthtownStar/Sun-Times reporter Casey Toner reported on Twitter that one of the attorneys pressing for this ruling told the court "he didn't think 'any legitimate journalist should fear the outcome of this.'" (more...)
Tools:
0 Comments

Patch will appeal judge’s order to turn over confidential source

Joliet Patch | Chicago Sun-Times
Patch editor Joseph Hosey won't reveal who gave him police reports about a gruesome murder in Joliet, Ill., Hosey's lawyer Ken Schmetterer told a judge in Will County, Ill., Tuesday.

Judge Gerald Kinney on Aug. 30 ordered Hosey to give his source up. Hosey and Patch Media plan to appeal the order, Dennis Robaugh reports.

"Some experts, including media lawyers, said Hosey most likely would not be jailed after being found in contempt of court," Becky Schlikerman writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "Rather, it’s a procedural motion to give the appellate court jurisdiction." (more...)
Tools:
0 Comments