AOL’s plan to close or outsource half of its 1,000 hyperlocal Patch sites will come with what CEO Tim Armstrong calls “impacts” — he means layoffs — but the ax will fall slowly over the next week or so. One person, though, was dismissed outright today during the announcement, reports Romenesko: “A Patch higher-up was bizarrely fired by Armstrong this morning — just three minutes into the 9 a.m. ET call — after the employee pulled out a camera in the New York meeting room where the conference call originated.” According to a source inside, Armstrong decreed, “Put that camera down. You’re fired. Out.”
TechCrunch, which is owned by AOL, corroborated the story: “In a somewhat dramatic twist, Armstrong reportedly fired an employee who took his photo in front of the 1,000 people in attendance on the call, which our tipster characterized as ‘shameful and disgusting.’” That’s impact.