AOL is “sunsetting” (i.e. killing or trying to sell) some of its underperforming units, including Bluestring, Xdrive, AOL Pictures and MyMobile. TechCrunch has the memo, issued last week, by EVP Kevin Conroy, who oversees the company’s product group. Conroy’s unit will now focus on projects like its Truveo video search, though PaidContent notes that Tim Tuttle, who ran Truveo before AOL acquired it two years and has been managing it since, is now just an advisor.
Meanwhile AOL is also telling some bloggers who contribute to its Weblogs group to cut back or to halt writing for the rest of the month. Contributors to the DownloadSquad have been told to hold off, while The Unofficial Apple Weblog will cut back to a couple per day. DIY Life will go on hiatus.
Do the cuts have anything to do with the fact that Jeff Bewkes would very much like to sell AOL to Microsoft, Yahoo, or anyone else with a few billion? Maybe, though we’re sceptical. More likely they’re part of a summer of belt-tightening and cuts, prompted by the fact that growth at the company has been miserable.