Star Tribune digital sales director jumps to Patch.com

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.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Rick Ellis on 08/26/2010 - 04:59 pm.

    It looks like the Eagan version of Patch might be the first (or at least one of the first) local sites to launch. They’re advertising for people to collect business info door-to-door in Eagan, and mentioning the URL eaganpatch.com (which forwards now to patch.com).

  2. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 08/27/2010 - 12:42 pm.

    Smart people get off a sinking ship when they can.

  3. Submitted by Neil Huotari on 09/01/2010 - 09:35 am.

    Congrats to Dan. Dan is the right person for the job and will do what it takes to take Patch.com to the next level and beyond. Patch.com is a great concept that will give identity to suburban and smaller cities along with an abundance of useful information. I know Dan at a personal and professional level and he is a top notch guy who knows the internet and media business extremely well, with many years of experience all over the US. Good luck Dan and I know you will do extraordinary things.

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