Patch.com coming to Canada

AOL's Patch.com is getting ready to come to Canada, hot off the heels of the Huffington Post -- it's not a question of "if", but of "when".

"We are looking at how to bring Patch.com to all of Canada," said Christie Hill, communications representative for Huffington Post Canada and AOL Account Manager for Colour.ca. "The date is still to be determined."

The hyperlocal news venture, which AOL acquired in 2009, offers news coverage and advertising via websites managed by local editors. Patch.com is currently in over 800 towns across the U.S., and aims to fill the gap left by local newspapers which have had to cut back operations due to declining ad revenue. The website has won awards for its local news coverage, but has also stirred controversy for its bare-bones staffing (one reporter per community), claims of plagiarism and lack of in-depth coverage on issues in order to meet the quota of five daily stories.

While some media have questioned its business model, which attracts advertisers by charging them just $15 US per 1,000 views on the site, the website has continued to grow at a rapid pace. Now that AOL-owned Huffington Post has set up its Canadian office in Toronto, Patch.com appears sure to be following not far behind.

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