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AOL Patch-Work Approach Has Some Local Editors Stretched to the Limit

This is not exactly the way AOL likely envisioned marching Patch into the critical operational year of 2013. Lately, when a site loses a local editor, one of the company’s responses has been to upside-down replace the departing journalist. In lieu of a new hire, Patch is tasking a number of adjacent LE’s with the duty of doubling their coverage area.

“Our goal is to have a Patch in every community in the U.S.,” company rep Joe Wiggins told FishbowlLA. “As such, we are testing a number of different models, including about 20 sites in the SoCal area covering two or more communities.”

The model Wiggins is referring to is that of clearly hyphenated sites like Echo Park-Silver Lake and North Hollywood-Toluca Lake. But the kind of Patch double duty we’re zeroing in on involves sites where there is a generic email address and no LE listed.

Based on some research at the city council and other local LA levels, it appears to us that Marie Cunningham, local editor of Beverly Hills Patch, is also presently running West Hollywood Patch; Susan Pascal, overseer of Agoura Hills Patch, has her hands in Calabasas Patch; and Mike Szymanski, the company’s longtime Studio City cheerleader, has separately taken charge of the Sherman Oaks site.

However, the king of this muddled mountain locally may well be Saul Daniels. From what we gathered, he is currently pulling the strings for two hyphenated sites – Northridge-Chatsworth and Encino-Tarzana – as well as keeping an eye on Woodland Hills Patch. Wow.

Update – 02/04/13: For both Beverly Hills and West Hollywood Patch, Lindsay Baguio is now listed as “community editor.” Also, somewhat intriguingly, if you click through to her Patch bio page, it is blank.

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