by Christopher Freeburn | December 16, 2013 9:55 am
A spokesperson for Internet pioneer AOL (AOL) has dismissed a report in Sunday’s New York Times, which indicated that the company was finally willing to shutter its struggling local news-oriented AOL Patch Website, TechCrunch notes. According to the spokesperson, AOL continues to seek a partner for the AOL Patch Website.
The Times article said that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had a “sentimental, and some would say debilitating, attachment” to the AOL Patch website. Armstrong had a hand in the development and launch of the AOL Patch Website while he was still at Google (GOOG) in 2007. After taking AOL’s reins in 2009, he purchase the platform, renaming it AOL Patch. Since then, AOL has reportedly invested $300 million in the AOL Patch Website. Starboard Value LP, a major holder of AOL stock has said that it does not think that the AOL Patch website will ever be profitable.
Last week, Armstrong hinted that the AOL Patch Website could grow through partnerships with other Internet players. The Times read those remarks as a concession that “AOL could not go it alone” and would begin winding down the AOL Patch Website.
The AOL Patch Website has stubbornly resisted AOL’s efforts to get it to turn a profit. The Times noted that Armstrong said on Friday that AOL Patch was “moving toward profitability.” Earlier this year, AOL announced that it was scaling back the AOL Patch Website, consolidating smaller market websites.
In May, the AOL Patch Website sharply trimmed its workforce in a bid to cut costs.
AOL stock has climbed 45% this year, despite the drama surrounding the AOL Patch Website.
Shares of AOL stock climbed more than 1% in Monday morning trading.
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