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AOL Goes Local at South By Southwest

Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010 | 4:04 PM ET

It's been almost a year since Tim Armstrong became CEO of AOL, and now he's at South By Southwest to show his commitment to making AOL a destination for original content.

AOL is hiring writers to cover nearly all of the 1,800 bands performing here at the festival, hiring journalists to do interviews with at least 1,400 of them.

AOL has to live down its weak reputation of the past decade when it was owned by Time Warner and build a new image as a content company. Being a sponsor of this festival and getting some street cred with the musicians here is one step in that direction.

Today AOL announced a big push to expand its local business — content and advertising.

AOL's Next Move
Insight on AOL's next big push, with Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman & CEO and CNBC's Julia Boorstin.

The idea is that advertisers want to reach customers in their backyards and new technology that targets people based on the location of their computers or cell phones makes local ads and content that much more effective.

This afternoon the company announced a $10 million venture capital fund that will focus on local related businesses.

It's expanding Patch.com, its hyper local news and information sites. And AOL is re-launching "City's Best" properties in 25 cities later this year, adding more city-specific content.

I sat down with Tim Armstrong here at SXSW to hear about what's driving this local push, and what he's doing at South by Southwest.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.