It’s official: AOL is making drastic cuts at Patch, its local news operation, today.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says 40% of Patch sites are being shut down.
Peter Kafka at All Things D reports 350 people are being let go today.
Another 150 of Patch’s staff could lose their jobs. AOL is trying to shift them to other media companies, says Kafka. If they can’t find a new home, then they’re probably out of work, too.
It’s been a tumultuous week for AOL and Patch. During AOL earnings last week, it said it was going to shut down Patch sites.
Armstrong held a conference with 1,000 Patch employees to explain the changes that were coming. During that conference he abruptly fired an employee for taking a photo. That firing turned into a national story. Armstrong later apologized.
Patch was Armstrong’s startup, which he acquired and brought into AOL. It’s supposed to have a site dedicated to towns across the country. It has failed to gain traffic, and revenue. AOL is shrinking Patch in an attempt to cut costs and make it more profitable.
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