August 9, 2013

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. 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.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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