Earlier today, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong appeared to fire the Creative Director at AOL Patch.com in front of 1,000 coworkers.
AOL is reducing the number of sites in its local news network, Patch, from 900 to 600.
Today, Armstrong hosted a conference call with Patch employees to explain the news.
During the call, according to a source, Armstrong told Lenz to “stop taking pictures.” Then Armstrong said “You’re fired.”
Then there were a few seconds of silence. Then Armstrong resumed speaking.
A few minutes later, Armstrong complained about leaks to the media. He said the leaks were making Patch seem like “loser-ville” in the press.
He said, “That’s why Abel was fired.”
“We can’t have people that are in the locker room giving the game plan away.”
It is possible that AOL did not actually fire Lenz, but we don’t know for sure because we were unable to get a comment from AOL on this story.
Lenz isn’t answering his phone. When media reporter Jim Romenesko tweeted at him, Lenz replied: “I appreciate the interest Jim, but I have nothing to share. Go Patch!”
A source who was on the call said he initially believed Armstrong was joking, but that when Armstrong brought it up again, he sounded serious.
If Lenz was fired, and you’d like to hire him, you can find his resume and portfolio here.