AOL’s $50M local news venture hits region
Internet giant AOL moved into the already-crowded tri-county media scene with the launch of its first Patch.com news website in the region on Sept 28.
Moorpark Patch is one of about 150 community news-oriented websites that AOL plans to roll out in California over the next year, and the company has “significant” plans for the tri-county region, Patch.com West Coast Editorial Director Marcia Parker told the Business Times.
AOL is interested in dropping Patch sites into cities with between 15,000 and 75,000 people that it perceives to have a gap in local news coverage. “The communities we go into are very under-covered,” Parker said.
Patch.com’s tri-county debut lands it in a region that’s home to at least four longtime daily newspapers and a host of new media start-ups such as EdHat.com and Noozhawk.com. All are trying to figure out how to make money in a brave new media world where readers typically expect content to be free and where advertisers are cautious about spending their dollars online.