AOL laid off 900 employees, or around 15% of its work force today, the fallout from its $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post in February. Two hundred of those let go worked on the content and engineering staffs in the U.S., with the rest coming from India.
It's unclear which edit properties have been affected, though Forbes reported that AOL's News, Politics and Finance sites are "simply going away." Those close to the situation told Ad Age, however, that none of AOL's content brands will disappear, but instead may end up within the Huffington Post under the same heading, or could live on in limited form.
While the company would not confirm which content staffs have been affected, we took a look at AOL's worst-performing properties, courtesy of ComScore, and you have to figure CEO Tim Armstrong looked at the same numbers when considering whom he had to let go.
Within content, AOL Finance has done the worst, losing 41% of its audience, followed by Politics Daily, which dropped 32% of its readers. AOL News, however, increased its audience 30% over the past year, along with AOL Tech, which drew in 49% more people, and Patch, which pulled in 4.4 million viewers, up from 69,000, underscoring Mr. Armstrong's push for more local content.
At the Digital Hollywood Summit in New York today, Mr. Armstrong said, "Today is a difficult day because a lot of jobs are being impacted," but later on confirmed that AOL and Huffington Post will be hiring more journalists in the near future, increasing the company's editorial headcount from 50% to 75% in the coming year.
Chances are there will be some people who will still be looking for a job.
|AOL Property||Uniques Feb. 2010*||Uniques Feb. 2011*||Gain/Loss|
|AOL Search Network||17,698||12,463||-30|
*Unique viewers in thousands