Letters to Romenesko
From MICHELLE FERRIER, associate dean at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication: I’m trying to get the word out about a wiki of AOL/Patch sites that have been consolidated or are closing. My research looks at the media landscape, particularly newspapers and hyperlocal online news. I am examining the communities that have been shuttered by Patch for research on sustainable news models.
A one-sided serverance deal
From A PATCH EDITOR: Regarding severance for some Patch Employees “asked” to stay on until Oct. 15.
The employee is required to stay until Oct. 15 during which time the company can terminate those employees for nearly any reason. If the employee is terminated before Oct. 15 or leaves for any reason, that employee will get nothing.
Make it to Oct. 15 and the employee gets 2 mos severance. They can receive an additional 2 weeks pay if they agree to sign a separation agreement and forgo certain rights that are as yet undefined.
The employees selected were not asked if they wanted to participate in this arrangement. In fact, I believe there are a number of employees like myself who would have preferred a straight severance pay for a free and clear release on Aug. 16.
Actually, it’s not a bad deal
From ANOTHER PATCHER: I am one of the editors laid off effective Oct. 15. Unless someone in HR has it in for your tipster (doubtful), he is wrong on one point. My severance letter clearly states that I will receive the payout regardless of what date Patch terminates my employment. The exception is unless they decide to retain me, or fire me for poor performance.
While I’m not crazy about them having the right to revoke the benefits and retain me if they want, I actually feel like the severance benefits are pretty generous. In addition to the money, I can also keep my health benefits until the new year, at AOL’s expense.