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AOL spins off its majority interest in Patch

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AOL spins off its majority interest in Patch

In a joint venture announced on Wednesday, AOL indicated that it would retain a minority stake in Patch, but that going forward the network will be operated by Hale Global.

AOL Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Tim Armstrong helped create Patch in 2007 as a news website that served smaller towns and cities, with an emphasis on local news coverage and blogs.

While Patch grew in size at a remarkable pace to some 900 websites throughout the United States, there have been regular reports in recent years that it has struggled financially. A New York Times story about the new joint venture stated that Patch has lost between $200 and $300 million in its lifetime.

This past August, around 350 Patch staff members were laid off, or about 40 percent of its staff, according to a report at the time by Business Insider's Steve Kovach.

Looking ahead, the AOL announcement said Hale Global will attempt to make Patch profitable through several new concepts including:

  • Technology solutions to make community participation seamless
  • Mobile-first experience with social integration
  • National, regional, and local advertising self-service tools
  • Geo-targeted advertising products

Author

WAN-IFRA External Contributor

Date

2014-01-16 17:50

Author information

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