By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — Hundreds of editors at Patch websites nationwide. including the editor in Dearborn and the other 29 locations in Michigan, were laid off last week by Hale Global, the majority stakeholder of the company.
According to published reports, employees of Patch took part in a conference call Jan. 29 that explained the layoffs, which began immediately, and the severance package, which included a yearly bonus, a payout for accrued vacation time and two months of severance pay.
There were roughly 15 editors covering the sites dedicated to Michigan locations.
Jessica Carreras, who worked as an editor for the Dearborn Patch for 2.5 years before leaving in March, said she was surprised to hear about the layoffs.
“It’s disheartening as a former Patch editor,” Carreras said. “I’m just waiting to see what this means for the Dearborn site. I hope that it doesn’t disappear completely.”
The “hyper local” new sites were started in 2007 and were purchased by AOL in 2009. AOL sold its majority stake in the company to Hale Global, an investment holding company, about three weeks ago.
There were about 900 sites nationwide at the beginning of 2014, but the exact number of what will remain after the layoffs has not been announced by Patch or Hale Global.
The first Patch sites in Michigan in 2010 focused on Plymouth, Rochester, Birmingham and St. Clair Shores.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])