Morning Media Newsfeed: Hundreds Fired at Patch | SOTU Ratings Down | WaPo Expanding

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Report: Hundreds of Patch Employees Laid Off (JimRomenesko.com)
I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global. Patch senior vice president/revenue Jim Lipuma has left the company. He wrote on his blog Wednesday: “I am unemployed. Long and short of it, I chose ‘Happiness.’ Now, I won’t go into details, as I have nothing but love for my organization and the people in it. It was an amazing journey, but today it ends.” FishbowlNY In a conference call from Leigh Zarelli Lewis, Patch’s COO, the news was laid out in blunt terms. Here’s how it went, according to a transcript: “Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and (Wednesday) will be your last day of employment with the company.” NYT Later in the morning, there was a conference call for employees who were staying on. Patch had roughly 450 employees before the layoffs Wednesday. In the call, remaining employees, including journalists as well as advertising sales employees and engineers, were told that all 900 Patch sites would remain open. Gawker Patch never made money. Even after it was bought by AOL in 2009, it didn’t make money. When AOL finally realized it was never going to make money, it first shuttered a bunch of Patch sites and then decided to get rid of it entirely. NY Post The move is a black eye for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who had co-founded the site as a side venture when he was still a Google executive and then acquired the site for AOL for a reported $7 million in 2009 shortly after he became its CEO. Poynter / MediaWire People who worked for Patch worked from home, on their own, but they had each other to reach out to, former Patch editor Anthony Leone told Poynter via phone. That network has held up through the rounds of layoffs. “We’re still helping each other out,” he said. “Most of the people there have never met face to face at all.”

33.3 Million Watch 2014 State of The Union, Lowest Audience Since 2000 (TVNewser)
According to Nielsen, 33.3 million viewers watched the President’s fifth State of the Union address across 13 networks, down from 33.5 million viewers last year. It was the lowest audience for the State of the Union since Bill Clinton delivered the address in 2000. The networks carrying the address live were CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision and Mun2. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media President George W. Bush’s former speech writer said that Obama plagiarized his former boss in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Speaking to Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, Marc Thiessen, the lead writer on Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, said he found Obama’s speech Tuesday night “eerily familiar.” E! / TV Scoop The Internet loved Obama’s Mad Men comment during the speech. It generated close to 34,000 tweets per minute. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner issued a statement following Obama’s State of the Union Mad Men shout out. “I support the president, and I’m honored that our show is part of a much-needed national conversation,” Weiner said in a statement released to E! News. NY Observer / Politicker Congressman Michael Grimm called NY1 reporter Michael Scotto Wednesday morning to apologize for threatening to physically injure him after President Obama’s State of the Union address. In an interview, Scotto told Politicker that Grimm called him around 10:45 a.m. to make amends for the headline-grabbing eruption. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “I’m a human being, and sometimes your emotions get the better of you,” Grimm said. “The bottom line, though, is it shouldn’t happen, you shouldn’t lose your cool. That’s why I apologized. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and you have to admit it. It shouldn’t happen.”