Patch, AOL’s misguided attempt at creating a national network of corporate “hyper-local websites” is nearly over for Carlsbad. Not that we’re surprised. When the site launched on October 8, 2010 we were quoted on the website LostRemote regarding what we thought of Patch’s parent company AOL:
“They are the world champions of wasting money on doomed projects and they will outspend you every time. . . that said, having a company with the visibility of AOL interested in hyperlocal media brings more attention to the whole category and that’s good for all of us right?”
Well, we’re not sure it was good for all of us, but it seems even AOL grows tired of wasting money on doomed projects. On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Patch’s new majority owner Hale Global reportedly asked AOL to lay off 80-90 percent of Patch’s editorial staff, according to a story on JimRomenesko.com.
Here’s a little of the call that went out from Patch COO Leigh Zarelli:
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.
The downside of this call is that Patch has cut able, energetic local Carlsbad editor Deanne Goodman and rolled her old responsibilities into those of La Jolla and Coronado Patch editor Michelle Mowad (they’re all just generic SoCal beach cities, right?).
Goodman’s last story for Patch (Carlsbad Building North County’s First Roundabout) was posted at 6 AM on January 29, 2014 and later that day her old profile page began turning up a “There doesn’t seem to be anything at this address” response. In fact, clicking on many of the bio links of recent Patch stories ends on a similar page. Guess that’s what happens when nearly everyone gets laid off.
Goodman was able to get one last tweet out of her Carlsbad Patch Twitter account: “After 3.5 years, unfortunately I’m no longer with Patch, please follow me at @DeanneGoodman13.” If you’d like to see what Goodman is up to lately, follow her on Twitter.