Two hundred of the 900 pink slips handed out were delivered to employees in AOL's media division, which houses its original content properties, according to a memo from chief executive Tim Armstrong that was obtained by Silicon Alley Insider. Those brands (which compete directly with Yahoo's premium content efforts) include AOL News, Daily Finance, WalletPop and Politics Daily, the staffs of which "have all been decimated," according to Forbes' Jeff Bercovici. FishbowlDC confirmed that the editor-in-chief of Politics Daily was among those let go.
The bloodletting comes as AOL absorbs the Huffington Post's several hundred employees--chief among them, Arianna Huffington, who has been given the key to the editorial direction of both entities.
"The editorial-driven model of The Huffington Post Media Group will also change the way we create our content," Armstrong wrote in his memo. "Going forward, AOL will invest more heavily in our in-house editorial team and transition away from a reliance on freelance journalists. Journalists are the heart and soul of a media company, and our reporters and editors will be working closely with the tech group to produce compelling and engaging editorial content."
Armstrong addressed the cuts at Bloomberg's Digital Hollywood Media Conference Thursday morning, saying that the restructuring would end up saving more jobs in the end and that he planned to continue hiring journalists.
"The changes for me today are very personal, and I think they're personal for the team," he said.
(AP Photo of Tim Armstrong/Mark Lennihan)