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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Patch Suffers Another Round of Layoffs

More bad news for the Patch organization — after AOL divested itself of Patch, the new owners at Hale Global today announced another round of layoffs, gutting the organization.  Forbes story here.  What’s more “Nearly three-quarters of the approximately 1,000 community Patch sites will become “zombie sites” with no staff of their own, just repurposed content.”  Business Insider also has the story here, and says “A source familiar with Hale’s plans for Patch says the network will shrink to 250 sites from nearly 1,000. In Connecticut, for example, Patch’s staff has been reduced from ~100 to ~5. This source says the 750 or so zombie sites will aggregate regional news and try to partner with local bloggers.” Business Insider goes on to report:

This source says “Patch as a local news reporting entity? They put a bullet in its head today.”

This is disturbing news.  Long time readers know that we are fans of the local Orange County Patch sites and their unique hyper-local style of journalism (especially with the Register behind the paywall). We have always been hopeful that Patch could succeed, and we tolerated the infusion of sponsored, repurposed and amateur content that had recently cluttered up the Patch news feed in the hopes of maintaining the local stories that are so necessary to an informed and engaged community.  We know that the San Juan Capistrano Patch has survived the zombie apocalypse.  Unclear is the fate of the other South County Patch sites.  We wish them all the best during this difficult time.

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