AOL has gone into restructuring mode and is preparing to lay off staff, as well as shut down several of its prominent website properties. At present, it's being reported that AOL is likely to turn out the lights at its primary gaming site Joystiq, and the The Unofficial Apple Weblog, better known as TUAW. However, several others could also get the axe.
TechCrunch, another AOL property, seems to have the skinny on much of what's going on, though contends it's "not privy to what happens at a corporate level." Much of the information it's reporting on has come by way of an anonymous tip, which prompted the site to ask around, poking and prodding its own collection of sources.
Image Source: Flickr via Nicolas Sanguinetti
As it stands, it appears AOL will lay off workers, though the number of pinks slips will probably be in the dozens rather than hundreds. This will take place in the coming weeks and will be based on corresponding changes within the Brand group -- the division that oversees properties like TechCrunch and Engadget.
Both Joystiq and TUAW will likely be folded into Engadget. The fates of other troubled properties are unknown at this time. According to TechCrunch, AOL wants to move away from web properties that are losing traffic or standing pat, and instead pour resources into sites that are growing.
If that's the case, there are a number of web properties that could be affected by the restructuring effort. Looking at comScore figures for U.S.-based traffic, sites like KitchenDaily, Pawnation, and Moviefone have all seen declining traffic.