Top AOL Patch Editor Jumps Ship
In business, you will find the captain never goes down with the ship. Nor do the first mates, deck crew or engine room workers. In fact, in business, it’s quite the opposite. Nobody wants their career tied to a titanic of a disaster, because it hurts you down the line when applying for a new job or seeking venture capital funding for your next start up. It’s usually the passengers who go down with the sinking ships in business and a good sign of a sinking ship is counting how many officers and crew are jumping off the boat and how fast they are following each other.
The AOL Patch exodus continued this week as Brian Farnham, employee #4 and Patch Chief Editor, became the latest in a long line of patch execs streaming jumping from the bow of the sinking AOL media initiative. Farnham’s departure comes in the midst of a potential AOL board of directors take over attempt by major shareholder, Starboard Value, who said recently that the company’s sale of patents was not enough to stave off their inevitable grab for power. Starboard has recently expressed frustration over the company’s roughly $160 million loss in Patch in 2011.
Farnham apparently has decided not to get his own feet wet. In fact, he leaves at a great time that props his future value in the venture capital market. He was part of a team that took a relatively obscure platform and help thrust it in the national spotlight and timing works in his favor. He started with the company early and jumped ship when only the crew was aware of the cracks in the hull.
“My last day is May 4. I’m leaving for an assortment of reasons, but I’m glad to be able to say that none of them is negative. I love Patch, and I plan on staying very connected as an active alum, most specifically as a member of the advisory board we’re continuing to build.” Farnham said in his farewell blog post.
“I’ve never worked for a company that has been as scrutinized, criticized, and coal-raked as this one. As Jon likes to say, you’d think we were creating toxic waste, instead of, you know, free useful information.” the fleeing exec added. ”We have critics on Wall Street, critics in the media, local critics, national critics, the business press, the journalism reviews, bloggers, etc. There are so many that I’ve come to think of them as a single large, screechy, off-key band called BI and the Haters. It’s music to kill yourself by.”
Patch has been met with wide criticism in the media, both local and national because of its bland blend free bloggers and freelance writers featuring a mediocre brand of hyperlocal news blogging. AOL Patch operates several websites in the Jersey Shore region including Toms River, Manchester and Brick.
-Fifth Fiddle, BI & The Haters.