AOL Chief Tim Armstrong Fires Guy Mid-Conference Call Discussing Lay Offs

Well, at least AOL has multitasking on their side.

During a 1,000-person-strong conference call, AOL chief Tim Armstrong instructed his employees that AOL was shuttering half of its Patch websites. (Patch, designed to replace local newspapers, currently has 900 local news sites.) Because the impending-layoff news wasn't enough, he then proceeded to fire a guy named Abel mid-call.

Armstrong waxed lyrical about how he's going to take responsibility for Patch's rise and fall for a while. Then it all kicks off.

"If you think what's going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today," he says, eerily predicting what's coming next...

"Abel, put that camera down right now!" cries out Armstrong. "Abel, you're fired. Out!"

There's a pause, in which you can almost feel 1,000 people shaking in their boots, and then Armstrong jumps right back into it: "If you guys think that AOL has not been committed to Patch, and won’t stay committed to Patch, you’re wrong."

Way to boost morale.

To listen for yourself, skip to the two-minute mark, if you want to get straight to the good stuff. Or bad, if you're Abel.


Patch has also fired its creative director and replaced its president, which seems fitting for this warm and cozy move in direction.

In other very public firings, let's take a moment for this brand-new news anchor, who in April freaked out onscreen and opened with the immortal ice-breaker: "Gay... fucking shit!"

Say Anything on YouTube

And let's not forget this guy, who fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in his biography of Bob Dylan and was promptly fired from the New Yorker.

Scott Zuckerman on YouTube