Patch: We’re nothing like Main Street Connect

“I regret to stoop to the point of responding to you,” Patch president Warren Webster told a rival this week, “but I will here.”

This little spat took place in the Business Insider comments section, below Nicholas Carlson’s piece, “FRICTION AT AOL: Arianna Is A Huge ‘Headache’… But Also The Most Valuable Person At AOL.”

Main Street Connect founder Carll Tucker wrote that his online national community news outfit “has a similar model but is turning a profit.” He added: “Perhaps Aol should have invested in profitable models like ours rather than dumping money into Patch.”

Patch’s boss didn’t like that.

@Carll Tucker: Carll I regret to stoop to the point of responding to you, but I will here.

A couple of points:

1) Patch is about building out a footprint that will scale and monetize over time. The last several years have been about infrastructure development and growing engagement. No one asked if Facebook was profitable for its first 5 years. It is unfair to put that expectation on Patch.

2) Your company is a small local startup which I admire. Patch is a national organization that is revolutionizing the news media. We have national advertising. We have project Devil. You do not. We are fishing from different advertiser ponds.

3) As a local company you need to make money for your investors. At Patch we are part of a company which will soon be in the Fortune 500. There are literally 100’s of metrics by which we can measure success. Money is just one of them. We funnel 100’s of users every month to the Huffington Post and other Aol properties. We have a terrific editorial staff breaking big national stories. Again different games.

Congratulations on making money. I truly wish you the best. Please stop comparing your organization to ours. There is room in this space for the both of us.



Tucker hasn’t fired back – yet.



  1. Warren Webster is utterly convinced of his own ability to destroy any and all who dare oppose him with condescension and money. Is there any doubt that he is the real power behind AOL? One word from this fellow and Huffington is begging for coins out in the cold.

  2. Perry Gaskill said:

    It’s interesting how in the midst of the whole infrastructure-footprint-project-Devil-fishing-pond whatever, that Webster makes no mention of any value placed on filling the news needs of Patch’s 850 communities.

    Aol’s view of Patch sometimes seems a lot like the famous Saul Steinberg cover for the New Yorker; there’s a large foreground of Manhattan marketing, and a tiny background of local journalism.

  3. I am Project Devil. I will smite mine enemies. The lamentations of your widows and children will fill the universe with mourning.

  4. Nancy Imperiale said:

    I had to look up Project Devil. It’s an ad strategy. Wow, we’re all blown away, Dr. Strangelove.

  5. Patch said:

    The comments attributed to Warren Webster on the BI post weren’t in fact from Mr. Webster. We have made Mr. Tucker, BI and Mr. Romenesko aware of this, and BI has since removed the comments from their site. Apologies to Mr. Tucker for the misguided and inaccurate statements made by this impostor.