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Alex McVeigh Leaving Reston Patch As Part Of Nationwide Purge

by RestonNow.com January 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm 9 Comments

patchAlex McVeigh, the editor of Reston Patch, announced that Wednesday would be his last day with the news website.

Patch launched in Reston in August 2010 under the leadership of local editor Karen Goff, who later founded Reston Now in 2013. Reston was among one of the top-performing Patch sites in the region.

McVeigh’s departure came as part of a company-wide layoff in which as many as 90 percent of the employees were reportedly let go. Patch, owned by AOL, was sold to Hale Global two weeks ago. It was Patch’s third big layoff since August after losing hundreds of millions of dollars since its founding in 2009.

“Sorry to announce that today is my last day with Patch,” McVeigh wrote on Reston Patch’s Facebook page. “I’m not sure what the future of the site will be going forward, but I enjoyed my time here, and appreciate each and every person that followed and read the site. It was a true pleasure bringing you the news.”

Patch has about 900 hyperlocal news sites nationwide. It is unclear how many of them will remain active.

  • michellew7

    Thanks for the Romenesko link. I think it needs to be emphasized how inhumane the layoff process was in this particular case. It’s a shame because it’s clear (from this site alone) that the business model can work, but AOL/Patch just didn’t have a clear vision.

  • John Smith

    Best wishes to Alex and to all those (yes, I’m thinking of you, Karen!) who worked to make the various Patches the “Go To” sources for local news. I still don’t understand why this concept didn’t succeed beyond everyone’s wildest imagination. The relatively recent “reformatting” of the Patches was a huge step backward in terms of user friendliness, in my opinion, a final nail in the coffin, At least we have Reston Now, which we wish all success, but this doesn’t cover other local jurisdictions the way the various local Patches did. I volunteered to start a Patch in Key West, but never got a response. :((

    • Karen Goff

      I would be the first to sign up for a Key West gig!

      • John Smith

        Amen! Key West is a “natural” for a vibrant Patch or “Key West Now.” Always tons of “happenings” to report. Was truly shocked to discover that a KW Patch did not exist.

  • JoAnne Norton

    Thank you, Alex. You have been covering Reston in one way or another for a long time. Hope to see you pop up somewhere real soon!

  • Bonnie Whyte

    Alex, This is such a disappointment to learn that we will no longer see your byline on PATCH. It has been such a pleasure to work with you and to follow your reporting on Reston news and events. We recall meeting you in Hickory Cluster on one of your first assignments in Reston. Since that day you have done a terrific job of reporting, analyzing, and interpreting happenings in our community. We hope that this change will, in the end, open a new and rewarding chapter for you. Selfishly, we would like to see that happen right here in Reston.
    All the best from Bonnie and Bill Whyte

  • Molly O’Boyle

    I guess I will have to find a new place to have my Plant Lady column now….it will be weird to not say “I saw in the Reston Patch”… but we will still have Karen and Reston Now! Thanks for keeping it local, Karen!

    • Karen Goff

      Molly – The Patches will still be open for user-posted content if you want to keep posting your blog. But without an editor or updated local news, I am not sure how many readers they will get.

  • Karen Goff

    My two cents – since I was the founding editor of Reston Patch and ran it for more than three years. Reston Patch was very successful in Reston all around – readership and business revenue. But it was a non-starter in so many of its 900 communities.

    Hyperlocal news can be successful, as we have shown here in Reston. The parent company just thought too broad and too big (putting sites where there did not need to be one) and kept changing direction rather than sticking to basic local news that people could not get anywhere else.

    I saw the writing on the wall the last six months, that’s why I made the jump over to Reston Now in October. We are small company with a good business plan that does not have to take direction from a corporation that has no feel for the news that is important to readers in a particular town.

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