DailyFinance.com, BloggingStocks.com to cease operations

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Two of the AOL Money & Finance sites – DailyFinance.com and BloggingStocks.com — will be shut down as part of AOL’s merging its editorial operations with The Huffington Post, according to business journalists who work at AOL.

Another AOL Money & Finance site, WalletPop.com, has been gutted of virtually its entire salaried staff and is now being overseen by three contract editors.

That was the grim news presented Thursday afternoon to the editorial staffers and contract workers during a conference call Thursday afternoon with Nicole Ridgeway, the executive editor of WalletPop.com. No AOL of Huffington Post executives were on the call, according to those who listened.

There were tears shed during the call, but no memo to freelancers or contractors, who are legion, was sent telling them what the future might hold for WalletPop, which is a profitable site according to published reports.

“It’s astounding,” said one staffer. “It’s like they just handed down this decision from on high with NO due diligence and no thought to day-to-day opps at the various sites. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ridgeway told those on the call that “the staff has been laid off except for video guy Ken Shadford and that she didn’t know what was going to happen going forward, except that probably some HuffPo editor would be taking over,” said one staffer.

The AOL deal with Huffington Post closed on Monday, and it gave Arianna Huffington authority over all editorial content.

UPDATE: A DailyFinance contract employee writes on Saturday morning to Talking Biz News: “AOL seems to have changed its mind. We have been told to continue to contribute to DailyFinance,  For now, it seems as though we are sticking around. Things are very confusing.”