A source who works at the headquarters of AOL’s local news network of sites, Patch, tells us there is supposed to be a “bloodbath” tomorrow.
A week ago, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told analysts that the company would shrink Patch, a local news network of sites, from 900 to 600 sites.
But then, the next day, Armstrong held a conference call with Patch employees and indicated that while changes were coming, layoffs might not be.
He said maybe AOL would be able to sell some Patches.
Then Armstrong said he was going to take charge of Patch personally, and make sure it succeeded.
These words might have boosted morale at Patch, but during the same call, Armstrong interrupted himself to fire a Patch executive in front of everyone.
One Patch employee tells us that in the days since, Armstrong has been “largely absent at our New York headquarters.”
“Not sure what he thought he was going to accomplish on that call on Friday but I can assure you all he did was create resentment and kill morale. Everyone is just sitting around waiting for the bad news. “
One of Patch’s local editors tells us, “The current situation is distressing. We know there will be layoffs and sites closed, but we are all wondering which. There is talk of severance, which helps, but this is a lot of people potentially out of work and competing for jobs with one another.”
The waiting may be over soon.
AOL did not respond to a request for comment on this story.