AOL Reportedly Laying Off Hundreds From Patch, CEO Reportedly Fires Someone For Taking His Picture

    August 9, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Layoffs are coming to AOL’s Patch hyperlocal news service over the next week or so, according to multiple reports. When the company reported its earnings earlier this week, CEO Tim Armstrong indicated that AOL would get rid of up to 300 Patch sites.

The company is not commenting publicly about Patch currently, but plenty of rumors and bits of news are trickling out anyway.

TechCrunch is reporting that it has confirmation from “a well-placed Patcher” that Armstrong confirmed hundreds would be laid off, with notifications expected throughout next week.

According to Business Insider, who cites “a former Patch executive who remains in contract with people” there, Patch CEO Steve Kalin and Chief Content Officer Rachel Feddersen are out.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, Armstrong reportedly fired creative director Abel Lenz for taking his picture during a meeting (via Valleywag). Jim Romenesko shares a “tipster’s account”:

“Abel, put that camera down. You’re fired. Out,” Armstrong said. After a pause of about five seconds, he then continued the call as though nothing had happened.

Then after about five more minutes of talking about whatever, he threw in “and the reason I fired Abel before was I don’t want anyone taking pictures of this meeting.” He invoked some kind of comparison to a sports team’s locker room.

But he seriously fired someone live on a conference call with the entire company … a call that informed us that no one would be laid off today but that instead the layoffs (sorry, “impacts”) would happen at different junctures next week depending on the success of finding “partners” for moribund Patch sites.


I guess this story will continue to unfold over the next week or so. Stay tuned.

  • TONY

    AOL Patch hired inexperienced writers who were just as greedy and corrupt of as Patch and their advertising department. If this is how Armstrong attracted business, then it makes sense to why he is a babbling idiot. Armstrong and his reckless writers destroyed peoples lives. Stories were one sided and not properly investigated. Stories of a woman and her children in a shelter. The STUPID writer puts the woman and her children’s names in the story and mentions the location. The worse is when these dirty corrupt writers report a biased onesided story that was manufactured by a politician and a police department to intentionally destroy, defame and discredited a well respected person in the community. They use the patch story to back link on google so it stays at the top and then use a forum to keep the story going. As a result, Armstrong ruins the reputation and life of someone who didn’t deserve it. All he cares about is the fact that some dirty crooked political machine paid loads of cash into advertising and possibly stock, meanwhile, that persons life is left in ruins and so is their families and childrens. Armstrong has not only ruined lives with Patch but he has put these people in Danger. He will fall, you always reap what you sow. Since he is responsible, he should remove the comments that are lies and lewd and the stories that should have never been written, until he does that with an apology, he will lose more than 300 Patch locations, he will lose EVERYTHING. GOD DON’T BLESS DIRTY MESS.

  • TONY

    Unfortunately the writer who wrote these stories are no longer at the Patch location, they left and were given promotions to another news outlet by the dirty politicians that gave them an additional kickback. They will fall too and so will their families and children.