Mar 10, 2011

AOL readies the axe (*updated)

AOL bought Huffington Post for $315 million. The deal went through Monday. Today, All Things Digital reports that AOL plans to "lay off up to several hundred staffers starting tomorrow" and that the targets include editorial employees. Some of the layoffs are meant to clean up "redundancies" caused by the Huffington Post acquisition. The report also hints that certain areas of the country, perhaps where AOL media is having a hard time getting traction, will see cutbacks.

*Business Insider got hold of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's memo to employees. Turns out 900 employees will be canned overall, 200 of them on the editorial side. An example of Armstrong's spin: "The structural changes at AOL are possible because of the progress we have made as a team in the last 12 months." Progress leads to layoffs in the corporate world.

Meantime, Arianna Huffington, now editorial director for all of AOL, has some plans of her own. Again, from All Things Digital:
Sources said she is likely to be making some dramatic changes, likely to be announced soon, to the way editorial products are created and presented to consumers.
The vague "dramatic changes" is enough to send shivers up most people's spines, especially when preceded by layoffs and prepared by someone who thinks exposure is a good substitute for a pay check. However, given AOL's own track record at handling editorial content (see here), the changes could be an improvement.


John Clifford said...

Yes, work for the team and your reward is, you're outta there. Gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

what about aol patch?

Anonymous said...

Can't be good for those freelancing for Patch. The memo indicates they'll be focussing on producing more in-house content, but they're laying off 200 editorial staffers, so good luck with that....