AOL’s Patch has arrived on the western end of Cecil County, Md.
The hyper local news site made its crossing over the Susquehanna River into Perryville, a community on the western edge of the county. the website can be viewed here:
There have been no signs that Patch will move into northern Delaware. A few years ago, Patch announced it would operate in Newark but later withdrew that news from its website. Patch does operates in West Chester, Pa. Area, north of Wilmington, but has not moved into Kennett Square or other areas near the Delaware border.
Patch operates with a laptop computer-carrying editor stationed in suburban communities or small towns. As it works to move toward profitability, Patch has given editors two markets and according to some reports has reduced free lance budgets. Perryville is sharing an editor with Havre deGrace, a town on the others side of the river in Harford County. A Patch has also been added in Fallston in Harford County.
Some industry experts have predicted the demise of Patch, but AOL has tweaked the model while underwriting losses. It claims a number of its sites are earning a profit. The CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, has said Patch is headed toward a profit.
Patch’s footprint includes 1,000 communities on the East and West coasts as well as the upper Midwest.
Patch has already been covering some Perryville news from Havre de Grace, thanks in part to the Hollywood Casino Perryville and other news that crosses county lines.
Cecil County may be an attractive market for Patch, given the decision by the Cecil Whig more than a year ago to cut its publication schedule from five to three days and the Whig’s use of a subscription ”paywall that limits access to 10 stories a month.
However, serving the county with 101,000 residents would presumably involve hiring staff beyond its western edge.