hlw.jpegAOL is seriously serious about staying in the content biz, isn’t it. Today AOL announced through a release that it’s buying Patch.com, a local news site we covered earlier this year, and Going.com, a platform for “people who love going out” (fair enough).

“Local remains one of the most disaggregated experiences on the Web today—there’s a lot of information out there but simply no way for consumers to find it quickly and easily,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s Chairman and CEO, in the statement. (Tim Armstrong financed the site in his pre-AOL days after he discovered little information online about his hometown, according to the NYT.) “It’s a space that’s prime for innovation and an area where AOL has a significant audience and a valuable mapping service in MapQuest. Going forward, local will be a core area of focus and investment for AOL.”

Patch’s patches (ha!) are centered in New Jersey neighborhoods for now, and the company had planned to have presence in 12 communities by year’s end. With AOL’s backing, Patch may be able to scale even faster. And unlike many startups, they pay. And they’re hiring.