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Tim Armstrong Apologizes for Conference Call Canning

We’re not sure why it took AOL CEO Tim Armstrong two full business days to circulate an internal apology for his on-the-spot firing of Patch creative director Abel Lenz while chairing a Friday August 9 company-wide conference call. But per Romenesko, Peter Kafka and others, that missive has finally been dispatched:

Internal meetings of a confidential nature should not be filmed or recorded so that our employees can feel free to discuss all topics openly. Abel had been told previously not to record a confidential meeting, and he repeated that behavior on Friday, which drove my actions…

On Friday I acted too quickly and I learned a tremendous lesson and I wanted you to hear that directly from me…

Ironically, it was only because of this shocking conference call move that another AOL/Patch employee leaked audio of the all-hands meeting to Romenesko, generating one of the media blogger’s biggest traffic flows. If it is somehow determined who is responsible for that audio forward, we assume Armstrong will get rid of this second individual as well. Assuming that person is not already part of the coming layoffs.

At press time, Lenz’s Twitter profile still lists his Patch job title. Armstrong also wrote that he personally apologized to his former employee. Read the full email here.

[Photo: Albert H. Teich/]

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