AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (disclaimer: AOL owns TechCrunch) held another conference call for Patch employees today, and after what was likely the worst week to be working at the hyper-local news venture following the previous all-hands call, he confirmed that around 40 percent of the 1,000 total Patch workers will be let go starting today, according to Jim Romenesko. Around 80 percent of the Patch sites were in good or workable condition, he said, with another 20 percent set to “close or consolidate,” Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon reports.
The 400 employees lay-off number is in keeping with the “between 200 and 550” we’d heard in a previous report from sources within AOL, but the specific breakdown of Patch sites considered successful and in trouble is new. Armstrong reportedly said that 60 percent of Patch sites had “real traction,” while another 20 percent had “significant traction” (likely code for promising but need work), and a final 20 percent must either close or consolidate. Those are probably the 400 Patch sites we heard would be affected by the changes previously, though at last count there were probably around 900 Patch sites total, so perhaps those sites are spread across the latter two categories.
Emails sent out today to affected Patchers will likely be used to provide information about midday meetings where the lay-offs will likely take place, so we could still hear more about the personnel changes. We’ve reached out to AOL and sources close to the company and will update this story with more info as it becomes available.
Update: Beaujon reports (and we’ve confirmed separately) that an 11 AM ET call occurred at which a number of employees were let go, with a final termination date of August 23, one week from today.