In his weekly Sunday night column, “The Media Equation,” New York Times reporter David Carr seemed to pronounce AOL local news network Patch dead.
His headline: “
AOL Chief’s White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp.“
His lede: “Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over.”
Carr’s phrase “winding down” led many people on Twitter to believe he was reporting that AOL was shutting down Patch imminently.
That’s not happening — not according to a memo we’ve obtained that Patch COO Leigh Zarelli Lewis sent out to employees this morning.
From: Leigh Zarelli <[redacted]>
Date: December 16, 2013, 8:59:57 AM EST
To: Employees <[redacted]>
Subject: Quick update
We are continuing to talk with potential partners about Patch and there is no change in course or direction from what we have discussed as a team. Patch gets and will get a lot of media coverage, but we will keep you updated as we walk through the partner talks. The most important thing to focus on is the service we are providing to millions of local consumers and customers.
– Leigh & Bud
Leigh Zarelli Lewis
SVP, COO | Patch – AOL
Beyond its headline and lede, Carr’s column gives an accurate look at what’s going on at Patch.
Here is the situation in full, according to our reporting: