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Hundreds of Patch Employees Laid Off This Morning

The new owner of Patch, Hale Global, has reportedly laid off hundreds of employees this morning, according to JimRomenesko.com. The tips were sent in by two sources. AOL sold Patch to Hale Global on January 15.

A portion of the conference call regarding the layoffs from this morning is pasted here:

“Hi everyone, it’s [Patch COO] Leigh Zarelli Lewis. Patch is being restructured in connection with the creation of the joint venture with Hale Global. 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 today will be your last day of employment with the company. …Thank you again and best of luck.”

The site is receiving emails from Patch employees across the country who have been laid off from their jobs.



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“Technically, we were laid off by AOL. I presume that was a condition set by Hale. Second, I have it on good authority the layoffs were 80 to 90 percent of Patchers.”

“I was a local editor for Patch for 3.5 years, up until about an hour ago. ..We knew it was coming. but the silence from New York over the few months was deafening. They left us in a state of suspended animation. For those of us who killed ourselves working for this company, it was a real slap in the face.”

“The patch years were years of being aol’s tool and plaything. Killed myself, almost literally. Left with literally nothing. Better off dead.”

Dan Friedell said: “When I was there I wrote 150 articles, video presentations, photo galleries, multimedia displays and things like that for Patch in northern Virginia from about October 2010 until early in 2012. My biggest worry about the way Patch has been handled right now is that all of the archive disappeared. My best work from that era is gone seemingly forever.”

Jim Lipuma, the senior vice president of revenue for Patch, wrote the following on his blog: “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.”

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong sent out the following letter when Patch was sold earlier this month:

AOLers,

AOL has a strong track record of improving, pivoting, and partnering – that’s what successful companies and start-ups do. AOL’s return to growth has been built by making smart investments and by calibrating our investments while moving through opportunities.

We pivoted our ads business to programmatic, we pivoted our content business to powerful brands, and we pivoted our video production to becoming a video platform.

Today we are pivoting another area of our business: local. The local digital space will reach $152B by 2017, driven by a $21B growth in local digital revenue over the next three years and we have invested in local with Patch. The goal for Patch has always been simple – to be a local platform for information and commerce in towns and to serve communities in a meaningful and human way.

After extensive discussions over the last several months with many companies interested in the local media business and local platform business, today we are announcing a joint venture partnership with Hale Global. Hale Global is a private company that has a successful track record of investing and growing technology assets, and we believe they are very well positioned to nurture and grow Patch. Hale has made investments in local commerce and platforms, and they have a strong team of leaders and technical expertise. Hale’s CEO, Charlie Hale, is a strong believer in the power of local, local platforms, and local storytelling. Bud Rosenthal and Charlie Hale will be detailing Patch’s go-forward plan and next steps with the Patch team today.

AOL has delivered on our commitment to our investors and put Patch in a position to be successful. We are retaining a meaningful minority interest in the joint venture, and we stand to benefit from Patch’s pivot to platform excellence.

While Patch pivots, it is important to remember that it serves millions of consumers throughout hundreds of towns in America and partners with some of the largest and smallest businesses that serve those communities. Hale will help Patch improve, and we will be partners with Hale in the next phase of the journey – TA 

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