Patch.com has made a name for itself as a community news resource of sorts in more than 1,000 cities and towns across the nation. But the financial realities of news sites have hit the organization hard and layoffs are coming next week. According to Jim Romenesko, a media industry blogger, as many as half of Patch.com’s sites will be closed as the focus will be on “the most important sites,” and AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong will take over day to day management of Patch.com.
It’s too soon to know if any of OC’s Patch.com sites will be hit. One employee was fired five minutes into a conference call on the situation for taking out a camera.
From Romenesko’s story:
Armstrong told employees that he’s now in charge of Patch.
“Something at Patch has been missing and missing for some time and that’s leadership – leadership with a capital L,” he said.
Armstrong said his plan was to focus on the 500 most important towns. (There are nearly 1,000 Patch sites now.) Four-hundred towns will be partnered with other media companies or closed.
Patch, he added, is going to become a fast-moving company and a fast-moving partnership company.
“Twenty million people love Patch,” he said.
“To his credit,” writes another tipster who listened in on the call, “Armstrong took full responsibility for Patch sliding downhill.”
Romenesko reports that Patch sites in Georgia and California were hugely unprofitable and expect the lowest producing revenue sites to go first.