Patch Hits Minnesota has begun invading Minnesota, “hoovering” up young journalists, as MinnPost’s David Brauer puts it. Young journalists at smaller MN newspapers are fleeing for the “apparently…decent enough” salaries at the AOL owned property.

Brauer writes that Patch has hired “Mike Rose, formerly of the Austin Daily Herald, and now, Kris Janisch, the managing editor of the Stillwater Gazette. The Gazette, a Sun Suburban newspaper, is already advertising for Janisch’s replacement.

“Patch currently lists 37 full-time editorial jobs in Minnesota. (Rosemount, New Ulm, Maple Grove, etc.) Employees work from home, and editors supervise an army of freelancers. It sounds like a meat grinder, but have you ever worked for a small-town newspaper?”

There are 37 full-time editorial jobs at Patch in Minnesota right now, and more than five hundred nationwide. Brauer says: “have no idea how long Patch will survive — AOL is pumping in millions — but I’m glad the next generation has a new avenue to choose. At least until the creative destruction settles out, this also opens up jobs at legacy papers and perhaps — is it too much to hope for? — a pay raise or two.”