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Is Patch dead or not? Leaked memo from exec says no

Patch executive Leigh Zarelli Lewis does, however, say that the company is in talks "with potential partners" about the network of local news sites.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

The Web world was abuzz on Monday with reports that AOL's foray into local news with Patch was in the process of being shuttered. But now it appears that might not be the case.

The New York Times' David Carr on Sunday reported that AOL is "winding down" its Patch network of local news sites after repeated attempts by the company's chief executive, Tim Armstrong, to boost the ailing company. The claim came despite a comment made by Armstrong saying that Patch was "moving toward" profitability, indicating that the end might not be in sight, after all.

That idea seems to have been corroborated on Monday in a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider. In an e-mailed memo to employees, Patch Chief Operating Officer Leigh Zarelli Lewis indicated that Patch is still running, but that the company is currently in talks with "potential partners."

"The most important thing to focus on is the service we are providing to millions of local consumers and customers," Zarelli Lewis said.

That claim appears to follow what Carr had to say in the Times. According to Carr, AOL is in talks with venture capitalists to see if it can offload its operation to those firms. For now, nothing has been announced.