Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hyper-local news site Patch lays off hundreds more

AOL's former hyper-local news enterprise, Patch, which was handed over two weeks ago to investment firm Hale Global, announced today that hundreds more employees were laid off in a drastic reorganization.

Though I do not have any hard figures, many people saw this move coming due to the fact that Patch never made any money. I would really like to discuss this briefly in class. Many media experts say that "hyper-local" is where the media is headed, but clearly not in the case of Patch. What was wrong with their business model? What could they do/have done differently? Obviously Hale Global has some ideas, as they specialize in turning around companies through technological innovation.

The full story can be found in The New York Times, but blogger Jim Romenesko goes a little further and provides the firing announcement on his blog, along with testimonies from Patch employees. The announcement came to employees via a conference call from Patch's COO. How personal.

Romenesko claims that the "reorganization" eliminated as many as two-thirds of Patch's staff.

1 comment:

  1. Local sites can work. See, for one, Buffalo Rising. It's the business model that has to be honed. I think it best done with freelance and volunteer contributors for the content, and even freelance Web designer and techs. With only two or three full time staff the numbers could work in many communities.


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