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AOL to Shut Down About 300 Patch.com Websites (Newsday)
AOL plans to close, sell or find partners for nearly a third of its Patch.com local news sites, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday. Of the roughly 900 hyperlocal editions nationwide, nearly 300 are not successful and not likely to attract enough traffic or revenue, Tim Armstrong said in AOL’s second-quarter earnings call with analysts. Forbes / Mixed Media Armstrong suggested that AOL may be able to find willing partners for many of the sites in the numerous struggling metropolitan daily newspapers that have been unable to invest as much as they’d like in their own digital and local operations. Poynter / MediaWire Several Patch employees tell Poynter that on a phone call with site editors Wednesday afternoon, Armstrong said that there was zero probability that Patch would shut down, that the initiative enjoyed support on AOL’s board and that Patch is worth fighting for. FishbowlNY Just how much would a Patch site cost? Armstrong wouldn’t provide a specific number, but said it was “much, much lower” than $150,000, which is what they were estimated at in 2011. BuzzMachine / Jeff Jarvis I have a fourth option, Tim: Invest. Set up independent entrepreneurs — your employees, my entrepreneurial graduates, unemployed newspaper folks — to take over the sites. Offer them the benefit of continued network ad sales — that’s enlightened self-interest for Patch and AOL. Offer them training. Offer them technology. And even offer them some startup capital. Forbes AOL also announced it will buy video platform Adap.tv for $405 million, a reflection of the Internet company’s push to develop its online-advertising business. The cash-and-stock deal will make Adap.tv, a video-ad platform that provides AOL access to the ad technology that the world’s largest companies use, an independent part of AOL’s video unit.
Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Sulzberger Jr’
This afternoon around 3:30, about 375 New York Times staffers walked out in an effort to protest management’s handling of contract negotiations. “We’re trying to save the essence of The New York Times,” said Metro columnist Michael Powell. Staffers wore stickers that read “Believe us.” and walked from the building’s 40th St. entrance, up Eighth Ave. to the entrance on 41st St. Read more
The New York Times Company announced its 2012 first quarter results today, and as has often been the case, there was mostly bad news. Despite net income skyrocketing to $42 million as a result of the company selling its Regional Newspapers, profit was down 24 percent in 1Q, compared to last year. Print and digital advertising revenue dropped as well, down seven and three percent, respectively. Additionally, revenue at About Group plummeted 23 percent.
However, it wasn’t all bad news. Circulation revenue was up almost 10 percent and “Paid subscriptions to all of the company’s digital packages, e-readers and replica editions totaled approximately 472,000,” according to Sulzberger, Jr.
Fingers crossed that those numbers keep growing, not the ones we mentioned in the beginning.
Here is something you should know: If you like having a job, don’t send an email to 150 of your co-workers that blasts the owner. Odds are, one — or even a few of them — won’t agree with you and that scathing letter will get leaked. Evidently, Donald McNeil, a science and health reporter for The New York Times, didn’t know that could happen.
According to Gawker, McNeil sent out an email to 150 Times staffers blasting the paper’s Publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and now it’s posted for all to see. In the note, McNeil states that Sulzberger is basically a lost cause:
So where is Arthur these days? At the small dinners he is having with staff, he offered an answer: He has found a new management guru, Michael Useem. And he is going trekking with Mr. Useem in the Himalayas soon…. A Nepal trek is very Arthur, since he’s a rock climber and Outward Bound tripper…. But to learn leadership? Shouldn’t a 60-year-old corporate chairman already know whether he’s a leader or not? Shouldn’t that have been decided by age 35 or so? And a trek now? In mid-crisis? We put out a great newspaper every day. But outside the newsroom, at the corporate level, we’re sailing on a ghost ship.
Here is something McNeil hopefully won’t ever have to find out: Being unemployed is fun at first, incredibly depressing after a week.
When the news broke that former New York Times CEO Janet Robinson was getting a severance package of $15 million, people were understandably upset. The Newspaper Guild even sent a letter — packed with 560 signatures — to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., protesting several items, including the amount and the timing of Robinson’s pension.
If people were pissed before, the rumor that Robinson is actually getting a $21 million severance package will likely lead to riots in the streets. Okay, it won’t be that bad, but there will definitely be some angry fist shaking.
On December 23, the Newspaper Guild of New York posted an open letter criticizing Arthur Sulzberger Jr. for freezing pensions — while giving departed CEO Janet Robinson hers early — and for not budging in negotiations. That letter now has 560 signatures from New York Times staffers and others, along with scathing comments to Sulzberger.
“We are extremely grateful, excited and heartened by the overwhelming response to the letter,” said Bill O’Meara, the guild’s President, in a note sent around calling for any last minute signatures.
The letter was sent to Sulzberger last night. A sample of one of the quotes added to it:
You have got to love the New York Post. When the New York Times accidentally sent an email meant for 300 to over eight million yesterday, the Post saw a chance to attack, and dammit, it took it.
Splattered across the front page of the Post today is the headline, “BAD Times,” along with a picture of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sporting a black eye, which as Jim Romenesko points out, is almost 10 years old.
The article inside the paper detailing the “lie” is even better. It says that the Times is “red-faced,” that the paper “blundered,” and that the entire event was a “comedy of errors.” The piece ends by referencing a fake Twitter account that some loser, uh, we mean enterprising person, set up titled @NYTSpam. The account, according to the Post, already had “150 followers who were enjoying the Times squirm.”
A front page story about an email, followed by an article referencing a Twitter account with 150 followers. Don’t you ever change New York Post. Don’t you dare ever change.
The deal between The New York Times Company and Halifax Media Group that was leaked last week is now complete. The Times Company will sell its Regional Media Group, which consists of 16 regional papers, to Halifax for $143 million in cash. Why cash? We’re not sure. Maybe Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is planning a Vegas bash to escape the flak he’s catching and needs some cash for the casinos and… other entertainment venues that require cash.
A memo from the Regional Media Group announcing the deal was obtained by Jim Romenesko. It stated that staffers will find out their fate within 48 hours, and that “Halifax has decided who it will hire.”
Sulzberger, in a statement about the deal, attempted to praise the 16 papers no longer under the Times Company’s umbrella. He called them, ”trusted institutions in their communities.” Just not trusted enough to keep around.
The open letter sent by the New York Times’ union to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., protesting the recent moves that he has made, now has over 270 signatures. The letter, which can be viewed here, is currently endorsed by 272 Times staffers, including Howard Beck, Jeremy Peters, Andy Newman, Ginia Bellafante and many more.
Bill O’Meara, the president of the union, told The Huffington Post that it could have been worse. “There were people who wanted to storm Arthur Sulzberger’s office,” said O’Meara. “There were people who wanted to stage a walkout.”
O’Meara said that plans to issue the letter and the signatures to Sulzberger at the end of the week, and he will also be publishing some searing comments the staffers made, if given permission. We’re sure those will make for a juicy read.
Just like we thought, the Newspaper Guild of New York has something to say about recently departed New York Times Company CEO Janet Robinson getting her full pension two years before she was eligible to get it. The union published an open letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. demanding that if Robinson was getting her pension, then he should drop the pension freeze on all guild members.
A note announcing the union’s position begins, “The last 24 hours have brought stunning news about several recent decisions by Arthur — moves that have angered and dismayed those of us who work for the Times and care about its direction.”
The entire letter is available below and at Saveourtimes.com.