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March 7, 2013, 12:02 p.m.
LINK: www.paleycenter.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   March 7, 2013

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong gave a talk at the Paley Center this morning at its Media Council breakfast and touched on issues around Patch (“This is our most controversial investment”), the soon-to-be-separate magazines of Time Inc., Huffington Post Live (average view length is 12-18 minutes, he reports), and more.

On Patch, Armstrong says he took site-placement inspiration from Sam Walton’s early years of Walmart; he says it’s generating 14 million uniques a month at a 30 percent annual growth rate.

We’re driving it towards profitability. Very challenging business to manage, because the outside world — especially the journalism world — it pounds on Patch. It’s essentially going exactly against where all the other investments in content are going, and I think that’s driving people crazy…

I’m confident in Patch, but Patch has to be a profitable investment for us. There’s no use having a business that is not profitable inside of AOL’s portfolio. And one of the things we’re on is a path to profitability, and we’re going to get there by the end of the year.

He also notes the Financial Times is working on a Patch story. Lots of interesting stuff in there to Patch-watchers and people interested in what content strategy looks like at an AOL scale. (First 10 minutes embedded above, the remainder over here.)

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