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NEW: Patch’s Latest Layoffs Impact Rhode Island

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Patch has laid off an undisclosed number of employees and editors today, with East Greenwich's editor confirming being let go as part of a major downsizing.  

Journalist and blogger Jim Romenesko has a transcript -- and recording -- from Patch COO Leigh Zarelli Lewis's conference call with employees this morning.

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.

Last August, Romenesko reported that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fired Patch's creative director on the spot during a conference call about impending layoffs for attempting to take photographs.  TechCrunch had today that round of layoffs in August was 400 Patch employees. 

Future of Patch in Rhode Island?

Patch currently lists 22 states and the District of Columbia as having Patch outlet; for Rhode Island, Patch lists Barrington, Cranston, Johnston, Newport, Smithfield, Bristol-Warren, East Greenwich, Middletown, North Kingstown, Tiverton-Little Compton, Coventry, East Providence, Narragansett- South Kingstown, Portsmouth, Woonsocket.

East Greenwich Patch editor Elizabeth McNamara posted on Facebook today, "I've been laid off. I knew change was coming. I have LOVED covering my communities. I have not loved Patch, so ... onward!"

Last June, Dan Kennedy, Professor of Journalism at Northeastern University, said that the "top-down" approach, with AOL's acquisition and management of the company, would never work -- and that it is the "bottom's up" model that is poised to succeed in digital media.

"The hyper-local model can absolutely work," said Kennedy. "It has to be thought grassroots driven, from someone who is pushing the model up and out, not vice-versa." 


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Odd Job

don't see where ads could pay all these salaries.

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