Half of AOL’s MN Patch Sites Face Closure
AOL’s “hyper-local” news network Patch proceeded to layoff about 40 percent of its employees Friday, and while its Minnesota news websites remain intact, it seems some have a ticking clock.
The Pioneer Press, citing an email sent to staffers by Kevira Voegele, Patch's associate regional editor of Minnesota and Iowa, reported that 13 of Minnesota’s 25 sites will be closed, sold, or partnered by October 15.
A total of 350 Patch employees were laid off on Friday, and 142 Patch sites were closed nationally. Minnesota avoided the brunt of the assault by only losing two news employees and its five-member advertising sales staff.
Reached Wednesday, several Minnesota-based Patch editors declined to comment on the closures or layoffs, and Patch's national PR team did not immediately respond to inquiries.
The Pioneer Press, again citing Voegele's email, said the following websites are on the chopping block for closure or consolidation unless they are sold: Apple Valley-Rosemount, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Inver Grove Heights, Lake Minnetonka, Mendota Heights, Plymouth, Roseville, Shakopee, and Southwest Minneapolis.
The following will reportedly survive in the same role they played prior to the overhaul: Eagan, Edina, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Northfield, Oakdale, Richfield, Stillwater, St. Louis Park, St. Michael, and Woodbury.
The Friday terminations took place rather ominously, an unnamed source told Business Insider. AOL held two simultaneous meetings in separate rooms, filling one with the Patch employees facing termination and the other with those whose jobs were safe—with remote workers dialed into the meetings.
Update: An earlier version of this story inaccurately described Voegele's position at Patch.