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Half of AOL's Patch sites in Minnesota facing closure

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About half of Minnesota's 25 sites for AOL's Patch, the hyper local news endeavor, will have to come up with funding partners orclose by Oct. 15.

Kevira Voegele, associate regional editor for Minnesota, emailed staffers over the weekend to inform them that 13 of the state's 25 Patches would need to land a partner -- a media organization that would assume some responsibility for their operations -- or face closure within 60 days, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The affected Patches are: Apple Valley-Rosemount, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Inver Grove Heights, Lake Minnetonka, Mendota Heights, Plymouth, Roseville, Shakopee and Southwest Minneapolis, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

On Friday, Patch's parent company, AOL, closed 142 Patch sites and laid off about 350 employees.

AOL has Patch websites for 900 communities, and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told the Los Angeles Times that 60 percent of them do well.

Some business observers, like this piece from CBS News demonstrates, are questioning the handling of the layoffs.

AOL plans to seek partner media organizations for roughly 150 Patch sites nationwide, according to the Pioneer Press. Sites that will continue to operate as usual include Eagan, Edina, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Northfield, Oakdale, Richfield, Stillwater, St. Louis Park, St. Michael and Woodbury.

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