Japanese mobile communication giant Softbank's humanoid robot "Pepper" is displayed at a high-tech gadgets exhibition in Tokyo. (Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese mobile communication giant Softbank’s humanoid robot “Pepper” is displayed at a high-tech gadgets exhibition in Tokyo.
(Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP/Getty Images)

Media company AOL laid off roughly 150 employees Friday, or 3% of its staff. The bulk of the layoffs, or close to 100, were in sales, a result of the company’s surging growth in so-called programmatic ad sales, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak on the record. The remaining cuts will come from AOL’s corporate offices, including legal and HR, as well as from a planned consolidation of certain media sites, this person said. AOL will fold Apple fan blog TUAW and gaming site Joystiq into tech web site Engadget, the source told USA TODAY. It will also unite AOL Autos with AOL’s Autoblog web site. In total, the 150 cuts represent about 3% of the New York company’s 5,000 staff. The consolidation is part of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s vision to “focus on the biggest brands and make them bigger,” the source said, referring to Engadget, TechCrunch and Huffington Post. More