AOL spins off its majority interest in Patch

AOL has announced that it is transferring control of Patch, its local news platform of some 900 websites across the United States, to Hale Global, an investment holding company.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | January 16, 2014

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
Share via
Copy link