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Santa Cruz Patch to Shut Down for Good
As of today, January 29, at 2 pm the Santa Cruz Patch is all over. That's according to tweets sent this morning by Valerie Lemke, a contributor to the website, as well as by the publication's editor, Brad Kava.
Santa Cruz Patch began publishing in October 2010 and is part of Patch.com, a US local news and information platform operated by Patch Media Corporation and primarily owned by Hale Global, an investment company that specializes in turning around troubled companies.
Patch.com launched in December 2007 and was cofounded by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong who invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the company. As of June 2013, Patch reportedly operated some 900 local and hyperlocal news websites in 23 US states. Hale Global purchased Patch from AOL on January 15, 2014.
Jim Romenesko reports that Hale Global fired as much as two-thirds of Patch's editorial staff today, two weeks after the purchase.
Romenesko published emails from Patch employees about the layoff. One email clarifies, “Technically, we were laid off by AOL. I presume that was a condition set by Hale. Second, I have it on good authority the layoffs were 80 to 90 percent of Patchers.”
According to tweets from Santa Cruz Patch Editor Brad Kava and freelance contributor Valerie Lemke, the Santa Cruz Patch is "over ... as of 2 pm today."
Kava tweeted from @SantaCruzPatch, "It's been a great ride at Patch for three years, but it's over...my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll have a new twitter soon."
Lemke tweeted, "Sad news! Santa Cruz Patch is NO more as of 2 pm today. Thanks so much to all who supported my Blog!! #SantaCruz https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzPatch"
It was only a matter of time.
SC Patch blogger Lemke may not have understood what is going on with the restructuring, but the Santa Cruz Patch site will remain online indefinitely and will be fed with new content by non-local editors, just as the Watsonville Patch has remained online after firing its local editor Jennifer Squires in October of 2013.