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Posts Tagged ‘Erik Wemple’

Layoffs At TBD; Site To Become ‘Niche Arts & Entertainment’ Destination

TBD.com’s sports reporting and much of its news reporting will no longer exist, reports the Washington City Paper.

This just half a year after TBD’s much-heralded launch and just a few weeks after TBD was internally restructured to reside underneath WJLA in parent company Allbritton’s org chart. At that time, no layoffs were predicted, but the new news out of TBD is that at least 12 staffers are losing their jobs.

Jim Brady, who spearheaded the launch of the site but left after three months, told the City Paper that “[i]t was pretty publicly stated when we started that we had a three to five year runway… We’ve gotten some pretty good buzz. [The site] hasn’t been perfect, but there’s nothing that’s happened since we launched that would suggest the massive changes that are being made are really necessary.”

What remains: TBD will become a niche site on arts an entertainment, editor Erik Wemple said.

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TBD: Post Might Hatch New Hyperlocal Site

Looks like The Washington Post is cooking up a new hyperlocal news service of some sort, according to TBD.com. TBD’s Erik Wemple reviewed a survey the Post is circulating and made some guesses as to what might be on the way.

“The new Post initiative, says a source, would carve things up even more ‘micro’ than [Patch.com], as in subdivision by subdivision,” Wemple writes. “It’s not clear at this point just how the Post would accomplish such a feat given the content needs of such an approach. Managers at the paper, according to the source, have held ‘hundreds’ of meetings on this initiative.”

Indeed, the economics of hyperlocal news have posed challenges for outlets getting into the business. Most efforts so far, such as EveryBlock, have relied mainly on aggregating and little on actual reporting. And since advertisers usually want to reach bigger, not smaller, audiences, selling ads on hyperlocal sites is inherently problematic. As Wemple notes, a previous Post stab at hyperlocalism, which covered the outlying suburb of Loudoun County, Va., failed to reach viability.

Regardless, hyperlocal sites can sometimes give freelancers business — that is, if they’re willing to pay anything. Wemple guesses that the Post site will “feature voices from the community,” but that could mean little more than incorporating already active bloggers into the mix.

Darn bloggers, giving it up for free! As Samuel Johnson said, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”

TBD’s Brady: ‘There Is No Silver Bullet–It’s Just Shrapnel’

That’s the business model of the future for journalism: “there isn’t one stream that’s going to make us successful,” TBD general manager Jim Brady told ONA 2010 attendees this morning.

PBS Mediashift’s Craig Silverman attended the keynote and wrote up a nice summary. Representing TBD were Brady, editor Erik Wemple, social media producer Mandy Jenkins, and director of community engagement Steve Buttry.

Read the original piece to learn what Wemple thinks about failure and how many TweetDeck columns Jenkins uses.

Media People On The Move

Quite a few hires and promotions today:

  • Michael Schaffer becomes the editor of Washington City Paper, replacing Erik Wemple, who left last month to lead TBD.com.

    Schaffer worked at the paper as reporter and editor from 1997 to 2000, then left for US News & World Report and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • Maria Cristina Marrero has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Siempre Mujer, a Spanish-language Meredith publication for women. She’s been with the magazine since October 2008.
  • And Una LaMarche, formerly the managing editor of BlackBook, has been named managing editor of the New York Observer. She replaces Joe Pompeo, who left the Observer for Business Insider in March.

Jim Brady’s New Site Has A Name, And It’s TBD

The new local news site headed by ex-WashingtonPost.com executive editor Jim Brady and edited by former City Paper editor Erik Wemple has a name. It’s TBD.

Lest this turn into a wretched version of “Who’s On First?” we’ll just spill the beans: the new site is named TBD.com.

The site has a welcome message up right now, which explains:
“The traditional news culture is that you don’t publish or broadcast a story until all the questions are answered, all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. The evening newscast or morning newspaper is presented as a finished product, the culmination of a day’s work for the news staff.

“But TBD will never be a finished product. On the web, on mobile devices and on our 24-hours cable news channel, we’ll always be in motion: constantly updating, improving and evolving; seeking more details, reaction or community conversation.”

Brady tweeted the announcement a few hours ago.
brady-tbd.png

TBD is apparently going to launch with a staff of 50. Currently working at TBD besides Brady: Erik Wemple, Lisa Rowan, Mandy Jenkins, Julie Westfall, Jeff Sonderman, and Daniel Victor