February 8, 2012 - New York, NY: Patch, AOL's platform of over 850 hyperlocal news, information and engagement sites, today announced that Rachel Fishman Feddersen has joined its leadership team as Chief Content Officer. This follows Patch's recent ascension to being a top-5 property in comScore's regional/local category.

Fishman Feddersen will oversee the Patch consumer strategy and create scaled content and product initiatives to help deliver the most robust user experience across the Patch platform. Working closely with national, regional and local editorial leadership, as well as Patch's product and engineering teams and AOL and Huffington Post Media Group, she will help mine valuable insights from Patch users to drive innovation in product and programming.

"Rachel is a world-class expert at engaging online audiences and connecting communities with the information they care most about – which is the foundation of Patch's mission," said Jon Brod, President of AOL Local, Mapping and Ventures and a founder of Patch. "Rachel has incredibly impressive experience in understanding the power of digital platforms, so to add someone of her caliber to our team is an important milestone in Patch's continuing growth trajectory."

Fishman Feddersen joins Patch from The Parenting Group, where she most recently served as Editorial Director, Digital Content, Strategy and Design, overseeing all digital development of the Parenting, Babytalk and Conceive brands and their online extensions.Under her leadership, the sites achieved record-breaking growth and won numerous industry honors and awards. Fishman Feddersen was named Media Industry Newsletter's Digital Content Strategist of the Year in 2010 and was inducted into the Media Industry Hall of Fame in 2011. She has been creating, editing, and managing websites since the mid-1990s. Fishman Feddersen began her career as a journalist, with a focus on business, health and political reporting, and also served as one of the original six editors at Metrobeat (later CitySearch), a pioneer in the local space. Fishman earned a Master of Art & Technology degree from NYU as well as a BA in English from Amherst College.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to join Patch," said Fishman Feddersen. "Patch has an enormous opportunity to change the way people consume and share information on a local level, and I am very much looking forward to working with the residents of Patch communities, our editors, and the rest of the team to create the type of experiences that will engage and delight the Patch audience."

"I've known Rachel for some time and we've been talking for some time about how she might be able to contribute to Patch; she's got fantastic insights and a ton of experience with all the things we really care about," added Brian Farnham, Patch's Editor-in-Chief. "Having her join our team is truly exciting and I can't wait to start working with her."

The addition of Fishman Feddersen to the Patch leadership team follows significant traffic and engagement growth metrics, with UV traffic to Patch sites more than tripling between December 2010 and December 2011, per the comScore data released in January. Patch currently has 863 sites in 22 states plus Washington, D.C., with over one thousand professional journalists managing those sites and over 14,000 bloggers contributing content.

Launched in 2009, Patch is AOL's platform of over 850 news, information, and engagement sites coast to coast. Patch more than tripled its UV traffic between December 2010 and December 2011, making it the fifth largest regional/local property online (comScore, February 2012). With the mission of becoming the most trusted source of local news and information, Patch is managed by professional local journalists and photographers. Patch is also the premier online destination for residents who want to participate in discussions, post announcements and event information, share their perspectives via Patch's blogging platform, and get involved in their communities. In addition, business owners and advertisers benefit from Patch's unique ability to geotarget new and existing customers. Serving as the eyes and ears for what is happening at the grassroots level across the country, Patch is now in 22 states plus Washington, D.C.

Janine Iamunno
Communications, Patch

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