Outside.in Recruited for AOL Local Duty

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aol.jpgADOTAS – Even before AOL acquired Huffington Post for $315 million, the portal’s new content svengali Arianna Huffington admitted to a fascination with the future of hyper-local content — during the merger announcement, she highlighted her interest in Patch, AOL’s network of local news blogs.

Perhaps as a present to celebrate the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of the AOL HuffPo union, Patch has acquired hyper-local news site Outside.in. Interestingly, that the purchase price is rumored to be less than $10 million, although Outside.in has raised $14.4 million in funding from high-profile investors such as Union Square Ventures and Marc Andreesen.

However, Outside.in’s traffic was on a serious slide — like the kind you’d ride at a water park before throwing up in the kiddie pool. In January, its traffic was half of what it was at the same time last year, according to comScore. Patch had a previous relationship with Outside.in, so perhaps you could call this a bailout — though founder Steven Berlin Johnson is not expected to come on board the AOL team.

Also, what’s a corporate restructuring without same layoffs? BORING! Tim Armstrong recently wrote an inspirational memo to AOL staff that concluded, “Let’s make magic!” Well, check out this trick — POOF! Your job is gone.

Integrating the HuffPo team is going to cause some redundancy, but the Times of India thinks the AOL office in Bangalore is going to receive the most pink slips. Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider explains: “AOL has people in India put together many of its articles and slideshows. Those are tasks people over there expect new AOL media boss Arianna Huffington will assign to her own people. (Interns?)”

Unpaid ones at that — that’s business in the U.S. of A. for ya.

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