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Report: Hundreds of Patch Employees Laid Off (JimRomenesko.com)
I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global. Patch senior vice president/revenue Jim Lipuma has left the company. He wrote on his blog Wednesday: “I am unemployed. Long and short of it, I chose ‘Happiness.’ Now, I won’t go into details, as I have nothing but love for my organization and the people in it. It was an amazing journey, but today it ends.” FishbowlNY In a conference call from Leigh Zarelli Lewis, Patch’s COO, the news was laid out in blunt terms. Here’s how it went, according to a transcript: “Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and (Wednesday) will be your last day of employment with the company.” NYT Later in the morning, there was a conference call for employees who were staying on. Patch had roughly 450 employees before the layoffs Wednesday. In the call, remaining employees, including journalists as well as advertising sales employees and engineers, were told that all 900 Patch sites would remain open. Gawker Patch never made money. Even after it was bought by AOL in 2009, it didn’t make money. When AOL finally realized it was never going to make money, it first shuttered a bunch of Patch sites and then decided to get rid of it entirely. NY Post The move is a black eye for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who had co-founded the site as a side venture when he was still a Google executive and then acquired the site for AOL for a reported $7 million in 2009 shortly after he became its CEO. Poynter / MediaWire People who worked for Patch worked from home, on their own, but they had each other to reach out to, former Patch editor Anthony Leone told Poynter via phone. That network has held up through the rounds of layoffs. “We’re still helping each other out,” he said. “Most of the people there have never met face to face at all.”