Layoffs at AOL: 20 slips, mostly on homepage side

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Cyndi Stivers (Cyndi Stivers.)
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Layoffs hit AOL yesterday, Capital has learned.

The majority of impacted employees worked on the editorial side of the AOL.com homepage, according to sources with knowledge of the cuts, who put the total number of pink slips around 20.

The culling, one of numerous that have hit different areas of the web portal in recent months, comes amid AOL's hiring yesterday of HGTV executive Brian Balthazar to oversee the content strategy for the homepage, and the recent appointment of longtime marketing executive Maureen Sullivan to manage AOL.com.

Balthazar is a video guy, and video is where the homepage wants to pack more punch. Sullivan, meanwhile, has been putting her team in place and coming up with a focus for what the site will evolve into in 2014.

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The moves raise a question about what this all means for Cyndi Stivers, who was hired as editor-in-chief of AOL.com just six months ago following a stint in the same title at the Columbia Journalism Review. Earlier in her career, Stivers was the founding editor-in-chief of Time Out New York and the managing editor of Entertainment Weekly's website.

Reached by phone, Stivers declined to comment. But sources confirmed that she is still currently the editor-in-chief of AOL.com.

An AOL spokesman said the company does not comment on personnel matters, but he provided the following statement:

“We are working hard to make sure AOL.com remains a valuable and meaningful product for its millions of daily viewers. It will continue to evolve in 2014 – showcasing stories from our brands and partners that inform people as their day unfolds.”