Looks like AOL.com’s new entry in the local-coverage derby, Patch.com, really is gearing up: they just swiped the Star Tribune’s director of digital media sales, Dan Krolczyk.
Patch, which just unveiled its 100th hyperlocal site, is coming to Minnesota soon; AOL has begun hiring local journalists. But Krolczyk, whose title is Regional Publisher, Online Advertising Sales, Minneapolis Area, is a big move on the business side. He starts in two weeks.
The Strib’s new Chief Revenue Officer, Jeff Griffing, is re-doing the sales approach, getting rid of divides between online, display-ad and classifieds sales people. As such, he says, Krolczyk was losing direct reports. “Dan’s job was going to be phased out, but he wasn’t in the works to be phased out,” Griffing notes. “He’s a good guy and a valuable commodity and we wish him the best.”
For his part, Krolczyk says there was no static between him and Griffing; even though they’re competitors now, Krolczyk thinks Griffing is “on the right track. This just aligned with my career goals.”
Patch officials have been tight-lipped about when the local sites debut. In addition to competing with existing media outlets, they’ll face off against KSTP.com’s new hyperlocal network. I wrote about Patch last month — they’ll be employing experienced journalists, but experts aren’t sure they see a real business model there.
Coincidentally, the Strib just hired a new Vice President of National and Emerging Media Sales, Ray Faust. Faust has worked at Media Networks, Inc., a magazine-industry ad seller split between print and digital.