Writing on the wall for AOL news teams

AOL’s news empire is taking a good kicking and it seems that its editor in chief Cyndi Stivers is clearing off.

She only joined in May and it is not clear if she was pushed or saw the operation was a deep pile of dog doo that she did not want to step in.

The New York Post said that AOL is a “slow fire” and appears to be ruling out its plans to go public next year.

Chris Grosso, the AOL senior vice president and general manager of AOL homepages said that AOL wanted Stivers to ensure the site showcases the most compelling stories relevant to viewers and drive a distinctive editorial voice.

However, the outfit has also been cutting back resources like a mad thing. Patch.com, the local news site has seen its 900 sites cut back to only 14 fully staffed sites this autumn in the face of continuing losses and poor ad support.

In fact rumours of Stiver’s exit started after 20 people were let go from the editorial side of the AOL.com homepage.

AOL hired HGTV executive Brian Balthazar to oversee the content strategy for the homepage, and the recent appointment of long time marketing executive Maureen Sullivan to manage AOL.com.

Balthazar seems to think that everything should be video, because we all have time to scroll through unprofessional video to find out the news. In America that also means listening the inane drivel of news readers “chatting to each other.” It is no wonder Stiver packed.