Perhaps taking a page out of Third Point’s activist investor guidebook, investment advisor Starboard Value has launched a proxy battle against AOL to get seats on the board and then push to unload local news outlet Patch.
Patch has had a lot of troubles. The latest effort to turn things around includes a restructure and cutting 20 managers. According to Forbes, “The days of AOL treating Patch like a garbage disposal for money are officially over.” So Patch, and by extension AOL, are having business model problems.
But it’s not all bad. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says, “Patch continues to deliver on its original mission and is on the right path for success in 2012 and beyond.” Patch traffic is up and there’s a new partnership with New York’s WPIX, a pretty major local get.
So from a media outreach standpoint, if you’re looking to reach a local audience, sending the idea to your local Patch reporter/editor is a good idea. If you haven’t already added them to your media list, get on that.