NEW YORK — AOL on Friday moved to cut losses at Patch, its struggling local news service, eliminating as many as 500 positions and closing or consolidating many of its sites across the country.
The cuts were an effort to reach profitability in a division that has failed to gain traction with consumers and has suffered huge losses financially. Patch’s troubles have been a source of frustration for AOL’s chief executive, Tim Armstrong, who helped found the service in 2007 when he was an executive at Google. Shortly after arriving at AOL in 2009, Armstrong had the company acquire Patch.
Patch’s idea is to provide an online network of local news sites, filling the gap in coverage left by newspapers that have either closed or greatly scaled back their investment in reporting in response to declines in advertising revenue. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.