Under the leadership of Arianna Huffington, it looks like the whole AOL Patch-paying-writers-thing may be about to go up in smoke. Former AOL writer and current Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici got wind of Patch‘s new plan to add 8,000 bloggers in the next week. A memo sent out last Friday from Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham tells Patch editors to recruit 4-5 new bloggers each by the May 4 deadline. And since Patch editors have seen their freelance budgets slashed, this presumably means these bloggers will be writing for free–HuffPo-style.
“The introduction of blogging on our sites is far more than just the release of a new feature,” Farnham said, in the memo obtained by Bercovici. “It is a full-on course correction heading Patch in the direction we want to go.