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Alameda Patch Apparently Hit by Layoffs

Alameda Patch apparently has been hit with lay-offs.

Alameda Patch apparently has been hit with lay-offs.

An audio file of Patch Chief Operating Officer (COO) Leigh Zarelli Lewis announcing the latest round of layoffs at has been circulating for days now, and links to Alameda Patch staffers no longer work on the local website, suggesting that locals were among the 80 to 90 percent of patchers let go.

On Wednesday of this week, media blogger Jim Romensesko surfaced an audio recording of the Patch COO announcing, on a conference call, the restructuring as part of the offloading of the local news website network to Hale Global.

Those that were laid-off were told on the call that they should expect a full separation package by U.S. mail within 48 hours, and that they could keep their company provided computers and other technology until the end of today to clear out personal files.

As of this morning, clicking on patcher profiles on the Alameda site, such as that for Dixie Jordan, a former local editor, returned an error message: “There doesn’t seem to be anything at this address (or it may be something you need special permission to view). Make sure you’re signed in with your own account, or Search for what you were looking for.”

The same was true for Cesar Bustamante another writer with bylines on the local site.

Earlier today, a Patch “Speak Out” thread included criticism of Patch and remaining editor Autumn Johnson for not announcing the local layoffs before readers started asking questions.

It was followed by a thread with readers accusing Patch of censoring commentary related to the layoffs, an accusation denied by Johnson.

The Patch concept never made money for AOL, and on January 15th, the company announced it was establishing a joint venture with Hale Global, for an undisclosed amount, to run the website network under a new limited liability company operated and majority-owned by Hale Global.

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