[UPDATED] Patch is laying off hundreds of employees on Friday

Here’s what AOL boss Tim Armstrong told Patch employees in a conference call on Wednesday, according to tipsters:

patchlogoHe’s going to the board today to recommend “bold action” that includes killing “a bucket of sites” — as many as 300. Some states will be Patch-less, he said. He added that there’s “no scenario where we are closing Patch.”

Layoff details will be announced Friday and they’ll include “elimination of corporate overlays.” Up to 500 employees will be cut.

“Late last night, LEs [local editors] and mid-level field leadership were in a panic,” one editor tells me. “Why tell people on Wednesday that cuts will happen on Friday? My email was burning up.”

Armstrong complained about Patch’s new content management system, and said bloggers have stopped using the site because of the “upgrade” problems. Also, readers are complaining about the lack of news and ability to find relevant material.

Are you a Patch employee with more to add? Send me an email. (I’ll protect you.)

* AOL to shut down about 300 Patch sites (newsday.com)
* Patch editor on July 3: “From what I see on the ground, we are on our last legs” (jimromenesko.com)
* Earlier: Patch reviews bathrooms and does a report on a mom who treats her kids to water ice