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Santa Cruz Patch to Shut Down for Good
by Bradley Allen (bradley [at]
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 11:59 AM
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, 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. 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 email is 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"

It was only a matter of time.
§As of this morning, Patch still on-line
by Robert Norse Tuesday Feb 4th, 2014 8:08 AM
§Santa Cruz Patch Will Remain Online
by Hal Chase Tuesday Feb 4th, 2014 4:43 PM
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.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by via Jim Romenesko
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 12:17 PM
[Audio: Patch's new owner lays off staff. 1:40 minutes]

I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global. I have asked the company for confirmation. (It bought Patch from AOL on January 15.)

Excerpt of the 10 a.m. ET conference call transcript:

"Hi everyone, it’s [Patch COO] Leigh Zarelli Lewis. Patch is being restructured in connection with the creation of the joint venture with Hale Global. Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and today will be your last day of employment with the company. …Thank you again and best of luck."
by Ramiro
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 12:42 PM
We still have the Sentinel and the Pajaronian, not to mention the Watsonville Patch, to find all the crazies and racists. Thanks for the post Braulio!
by Citizen Journalist
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 1:47 PM
Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Patch. April 12, 2012.

In his reporting, Kava often sounded like a cheerleader for the Santa Cruz Police.

Brad Kava Goes Behind the Scenes at the Santa Cruz Citizens Police Academy:
by Hal Chase
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 3:05 PM
Analicia Cube's response: "Boo!!"
by Hal Chase
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 11:35 PM
From the same Facebook post as the previous comment:

Kava: "Thank you guys so much for your support. I feel much better about it than I did at the Mercury News. These folks treated us well and taught me an incredible amount about new media. Patch really had a heart and I feel lucky to have worked there. Jim Weckler told me a story about how International Harvester had the small truck called the Scout, which got phased out by executives who didn't get it, right before the demand for SUVs hit. Patch or someone will figure out how to monetize local news better. They had a lot of the pieces; they just needed more time, I think."

Monetizing local news, eh?