Patch editors say staff and budgets are being cut in 2013

I asked Patch staffers Thursday to comment on a report that editors are being given more communities to cover and freelance budgets are being cut in 2013. Here are two responses that came in:

From a Patch editor:
“We were told earlier this month that all freelance budgets would drop to zero on Jan. 1. But last week, management decided that was too drastic and some freelance money has been restored, although we’re waiting to hear how much. Meanwhile, the hiring freeze remains in place. As people leave, some local editors are having to run multiple sites.”
Another staffer:
“I work for Patch and can confirm that regional editors have not been given word on their 2013 budgets. However, it looks like the freelance budget will be reduced when the regions get their numbers in the early first quarter. The cuts leave many contract editorial staff and freelancers out of work. The reduction in staff and budgets is part of the company’s plan to try to make up for the lost money and achieve profitability by the end of 2013. Many regions are condensing staff and plan to not fill vacated positions. The sites will also all be changing to look like the Patch 2.0 social media sites in New York. Almost all the editors will be taking on two sites. In turn, this will end the 1:1 (1 editor, 1 town) staff plan. The cuts have left many editors covering town miles away from where they currently cover. Most editors are also frustrated and at their breaking point. It seems like management is just making it up as they go.”

I’ve asked Patch for a comment on its 2013 plans. | UPDATE: “We are not going to comment on 2013 plans,” says Patch senior publicist Joe Wiggins. “We’ll certainly be in touch if we have any announcements to make.”

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