I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global. I have asked the company for confirmation. (It bought Patch from AOL on January 15.)
Excerpt of the 10 a.m. ET conference call transcript:
Hi everyone, it’s [Patch COO] Leigh Zarelli Lewis. Patch is being restructured in connection with the creation of the joint venture with Hale Global. Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and today will be your last day of employment with the company. …Thank you again and best of luck.
Emails that are coming in from Patch employees, current and former:
“Technically, we were laid off by AOL. I presume that was a condition set by Hale. Second, I have it on good authority the layoffs were 80 to 90 percent of Patchers.”
“The patch years were years of being aol’s tool and plaything. Killed myself, almost literally. Left with literally nothing. Better off dead.”
“I was a local editor for Patch for 3.5 years, up until about an hour ago. ..We knew it was coming. but the silence from New York over the few months was deafening. They left us in a state of suspended animation. For those of us who killed ourselves working for this company, it was a real slap in the face.”
“Patch editors in Michigan were laid off today.”
“I was hired in 2010, survived two rounds of layoffs but not the third. I was told middle managers in editorial were on a call earlier this week and being asked about which local editors are worthy. Based on info from HQ, I had one of the top sites in all of Patch for the past 2 years, but now I’m on the outs. Sounds like politics and not performance is the deciding factor for most, if not all, of us.”
Dan Friedell writes: “When I was there I wrote 150 articles, video presentations, photo galleries, multimedia displays and things like that for Patch in northern Virginia from about October 2010 until early in 2012. My biggest worry about the way Patch has been handled right now is that all of the archive disappeared. My best work from that era is gone seemingly forever.”
Please send your Patch information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Patch senior vice president/revenue Jim Lipuma has also left the company. He writes on his blog: “I am unemployed. Long and short of it, I chose ‘Happiness.’ Now, I won’t go into details, as I have nothing but love for my organization and the people in it. It was an amazing journey, but today it ends.”