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Tough choices coming for employees at Advertising.com

Employees at Baltimore's Advertising.com must be feeling a profound sense of personal and professional agony right about now as they face some tough decisions for their careers. Their parent company, AOL, is set to spin off next month from Time Warner, and AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong will cut one-third, or 2,500, of the one-time Internet giant's workforce.

AOL, which is trying to reposition itself as a content and advertising network, hopes to achieve most or all of those cuts through voluntary layoffs. But 2,500 volunteers? That's a lot of people who must consider voluntarily leaving a company in this economy.

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The Wall Street Journal's Boomtown and MediaMemo blogs have some details of the layoff package that will be offered to AOL employees, which could include volunteers from Advertising.com.

Basically, if an Advertising.com employee chooses to leave, he or she could get anywhere from 3 months to 9 months of severance, "compared to one to four months for employees laid off in the first quarter of next year," according to the WSJ.

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So, you can leave and take your chances in this economy, with some severance under your belt. Or stay and risk a layoff with about half the severance you would've gotten if you voluntarily left.

Ouch.

An AOL spokesman told me that Advertising.com employees were eligible for buyouts, but wouldn't say if there was a specific number of workers that needed to be cut here in Baltimore.

If any insider wishes to share information about what's happening at Advertising.com, feel free to email me at gus.sentementes@baltsun.com.

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