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About 80 percent of Patch’s editorial staff nationwide was let go today via a 10 a.m. ET conference call. A partial transcript of the call is available on Romenesko.

A skeleton crew of fewer than 10 editorial employees remains to run Patch’s 136 sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to sources, who speculate that original reporting will no longer be a feature at whatever remains of the network. Patch employees were given an 8-week severance package.

New Jersey is where Patch first opened news sites, in 2009, starting in Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange — and has widely been considered one of the strongest parts of the whole Patch network nationwide. Toms Rivers was said to be the highest trafficked Patch site in the U.S., with about 100,000 monthly unique visitors, according to sources. At right, a map of towns in New Jersey where Patch editors were fired.

A series of three conference calls were planned to announce the layoffs to staff at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., but employees lost access to the Patch content management system after the 10 a.m. phone call.

AOL sold Patch to Hale Global earlier this month.

Here, via Romenesko, is sound from the conference call announcing the firings.

 

Here’s a roundup of some of the Patch coverage today:

Massive Layoffs At Patch: ‘They Put A Bullet In Its Head Today’ Business Insider
Patch Hit With Sweeping Layoffs as New Owner Hale Global Restructures TechCrunch