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Posts Tagged ‘Warren Webster’

LA’s Longest-Serving Patch Local Editor is Suddenly Down and Out in Beverly Hills

There’s something a little strange this morning about the Beverly Hills Patch home page. The familiar smiling thumbnail image and email address for local editor Marie Cunningham has disappeared.

That’s because we’ve been told Cunningham, Patch’s longest running local LE, decided at the end of another busy week to abruptly pack it in. As we reported earlier this week, she had recently been tasked with the additional responsibility of covertly overseeing West Hollywood Patch.

Cunningham, a Michigan native, came to LA in 2007 to attend USC Annenberg graduate journalism school, where she was awarded a Carnegie-Knight fellowship to do multimedia reporting on the impact of Prop 8 in California’s Central Valley. She joined Beverly Hills Patch in April 2010.

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Ken Paulson Joins Patch Board of Advisors

Ken Paulson, the founding editor of USA Today, has joined Patch’s Board of Advisors. Paulson currently serves as president and CEO of Vanderbilt University’s First Amendment Center. He was one of the journalists who founded USA Today in 1982.

“There is no greater advocate for the first amendment and journalism than Ken Paulson,” said Patch co-founder Warren Webster, in a statement. “He has been an innovator throughout his career and will bring a critical voice to the development of Patch as the leading local information platform. We welcome Ken and look forward to his insights as we continue to chart new territory.”

Paulson joins a board that already includes Philip Meyer, Steven Berlin Johnson, Jeff Jarvis, and Brian Farnham.

Patch Triples its Traffic; Steps Up Local Election Coverage

The hyperlocal news platform Patch has been criticized for a number of reasons, including its traffic, which some say should be higher based on the organization’s operating costs.

Apparently, the property has been working on it. It tripled its UV traffic between December 2010 and December 2011 according to comScore data released this week.

This makes Patch the fourth largest regional/local property behind Yelp (#1); CityGrid (#2), Yahoo! Local (#3), and followed by CBS Local (#5). In December 2010, it ranked #10.

Last month, Patch, which currently has 863 sites in 22 states, including Washington, D.C. showed a 5% traffic bump over November.

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Patch Cuts Back

AOL’s Patch network is cutting back in the hopes of turning a profit by the end of 2011, reports Forbes. That’ll be tough to do if it keeps losing money the way it has. In the first quarter it lost about $40 million, and in 2Q the sites lost almost $12 million. Sadly, it seems the way Patch is going to fix things is by asking more from less:

In the last few weeks, Patch’s 800-plus editors have been told their budgets for freelance assignments are being reduced, in some cases severely. As freelance content diminishes, readers are noticing more articles being republished across multiple sites, notwithstanding their avowed ultra-local focus. Meanwhile, editors are being encouraged to work more closely with salespeople to pull in ad revenue.

The site’s President, Warren Webster, said that reducing freelancers was always part of the plan, but this doesn’t inspire much confidence in Patch. How does producing less content end up bringing in more readers?

Outside.in’s Josephson ‘Thrilled’ to Join AOL; Patch Produces a Piece of Content Every 15 Seconds

Fresh off the news this morning that AOL had acquired hyperlocal aggregator Outside.in for $10 million, representatives from both companies appeared this morning on a panel at Borrell Associates’ Local Online Advertising Conference at the Grand Hyatt to talk about the deal as well as the current gold rush taking place in hyperlocal media.

Mark Josephson, Outside.in’s CEO, said he was “thrilled” to be joining AOL, which will use his technology to beef up aggregation of information around the content produced for its Patch network of hyperlocal sites. He said that Outside.in had gone out of its way to build incredibly powerful tools for local journalists, and to serve consumers by organizing local media sources within tools and dashboards. Josephson said that he had envisioned a partnership with Patch since he heard of the company’s inception.

Patch media president Warren Webster also said he was “extremely exicted” about the deal, saying that pairing Patch’s local professional journalism and efficiency of scale with

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