Local Patch editors among those laid off

As promised, Patch began to lay off 40% of its staff today. Gone locally, that we know of: Sara Jacobi, editor of the South End and Fenway/Kenmore Patch sites, Becca Manning, at the Charlestown and North End sites, Jake O'Donnell at Back Bay and Beacon Hill and Chris Caesar at Malden.

O'Donnell reports that he and Jacobi, at least, were told their jobs will be gone as of Oct. 15.

David Ertischek, editor of the West Roxbury and Roslindale sites (and before that, a reporter covering the two neighborhoods for the Transcript) appears to still be with us.


Meanwhile, the lead item right now on Jamaica Plain Patch is a sponsored post about how wonderful the new One Direction movie is.

Update: Ertischek took a job helping get Matt O'Malley re-elected city councilor.



Free tagging: 


Facebook doesn't not = Patch

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Jeff Boudreau, You can't judge a Patch site's updates by when a Facebook page is updated. They're two entirely different things, and usually different editors are responsible for them.

I worked at Patch. At least in my area, we scheduled updates throughout the day and the higher profile posts would be scheduled when analytics told us more people were on Facebook. Nothing was pushed on Facebook immediately except for breaking news.

Pageviews matter

West Roxbury Patch seemed to have a vibrant community but then again so did JP, based on the number of comments they received whenever talking about certain issues.

There just didn't seem to be enough news (or, interested readers?) to fill three (or more) downtown Boston Patches, which sounds counter-intuitive. Perhaps if they merged the BB/BH/SE/Charlestown/NE/Fenway sites into one site with one editor it would have worked?

Keeping them on staff til October? For what reason? Is the AOL team hoping for something to change or just fulfilling some sort of contract with the editors?

That's a pity

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Because Jacobi and the South End Patch were greener spots in a lawn that had quite a few brown Patches. Maybe the South End News needs a new editor...


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Sarah has done a nice job and she deserves better than AOL anyway.


Is the S End News still published? With the courant coming to my door, and with daily patch emails and a tweet stream, it feels like the News has been left in the dust

Won't harm JP Patch

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JP Patch has become a regional patch with JP press releases so the Gazette remains the best source for local news.


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Maybe it's because I don't live in JP and I don't read their editorials or letters, but I've always thought they did a very good job with local news - it's my go-to source for the latest on the bizarre politics of the JP Neighborhood Council.

JP Patch hasn't been the same

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JP Patch hasn't been the same since Chris Helm left last year - it's a lot less JP-specific and more just rehashes of Boston news that I already see elsewhere and "did you ever wonder why there isn't a Starbucks in JP"-type articles which show a distinct lack of familiarity with the neighborhood.

Lots of people agree

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Well said.

Hopefully. The Gazette continues to only have a slant on opinions and not articles. It has begun to lean a little away from totally balanced news reporting but not too badly.


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Yeah, I agree. Remember when they wrote a post asking why Charlie Chan's was closed, instead of doing some actual investigating themselves?

I'm not surprised

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A lot of these neighborhoods already had local newspapers-turned-websites that ran things like police blotters, building projects, opening and closings of stores and restaurants, local council meetings.

The Patch was helpful, but fairly redundant, and very light on unique content in some places. Plenty of wire or canned lifestyle news, but not much local news.

Malden Patch

Malden Patch (Chris Caesar) used to be really solid, especially a year ago. Same with Melrose Patch (Dan Demania). But Dan received a promotion to a regional I-93 Patch before leaving, and Melrose was repeatedly sifting through various editors. For the most part, they had Chris Caesar cover both, and then the decline began. It's a shame, as Chris and Dan made an awesome team in that area. Frankly, there's no notable substitutes for local news - at least especially online.

Thanks very much for the kind

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Thanks very much for the kind words, sir. When I moved to the regional editor role last summer, overseeing 12 (later 15) sites, Patch really began to move away (at least in this area) from having a single Local Editor dedicated to each site and towards assigning each Local Editor to multiple sites, as could be seen in Melrose. I had no input on those staffing levels; I could only allocate the resources provided to my region, those resources being really only the Local Editors (the freelance budget was almost nonexistent at that point). At the risk of stating the obvious, that model changed what each site could offer in terms of content on a daily basis, and while Patch always intended the sites to be much more than a one-way conversation or a simple online newspaper -- always trying to get people to post their own items on each site and make it a conversation hub -- readers had grown accustomed to a style and volume of editor-created content that subsided with the new staffing models.