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AOL Chief’s White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp (NYT)
Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over. At a conference in Manhattan last week, Armstrong suggested that Patch’s future could include forming partnerships with other companies, an acknowledgment that AOL could not continue to go it alone in what has been a futile attempt to guide Patch to profitability. He called it, somewhat hilariously, “an asset with optionality.” There may be a few options for Patch, but none come close to the original vision for the site. The hunt to own the lucrative local advertising market, Armstrong’s white whale, is over. TechCrunch If Patch is shuttered for good, that represents a significant blow for Armstrong, who has nurtured the site as a pet project since launching it in 2007 while he was still at Google. AOL bought Patch in 2009 after Armstrong became its CEO. AOL says the report that Patch is winding down is “factually inaccurate.”