AOL is starting a Web site called in Oak Park and nearly 50 other Chicago suburbs this summer.

Now in Southern California and on the East Coast, this latest AOL effort is reaching into Chicago in communities “as far northwest as Grayslake and Mundelein and as far southwest as Plainfield and Oswego,” according to a letter sent circulated to community leaders.

AOL has hired an editor for Oak Park and is advertising to hire editors for its other suburban Chicago sites. Casey Cora, formerly with the Southtown Star, has started work on the Oak Park version of In his introductory letter, Cora says the site will cover local news and provide resources and directories.

You won’t easily find AOL’s name with The FAQ page answers “Who’s behind Patch?” with “Patch is run by professional editors, writers, photographers and videographers who live in or near the communities we serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters.”

AOL bought Patch Media last the summer, according to media reports, as part of a strategy to reinvent the company by focusing on hyperlocal sites and specific-content niches.

-Dan Haley

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