What’s Left for TBD?
While TBD arts editor Andrew Beaujon’s move to Poynter bodes will be interesting to watch, it also leaves yet another position to fill at TBD.
Already undermanned after layoffs in February 2011, TBD hasn’t had an editor since May 2011, when Erik Wemple left to join the Post. Since then, reporters who survived the initial layoffs have left without seeing their positions filled.
Will the position of arts editor become the latest TBD position to go into limbo? Beaujon’s soon-to-be-ex-boss at TBD, Allbritton’s Director of Online Media Saul Carlin, writes to DC Porcupine that no decision has been made about whether to hire someone for the position.
Beaujon writes that he doesn’t think the position will be filled, with the caveat that he doesn’t know much about what’s happening to his old job.
If TBD isn’t even going to hire a new arts editor even though it was supposed to be retooled as an arts and entertainment site after the downsizing, what beats does TBD still cover?
- Transportation: TBD On Foot blogger John Hendel does a good job aggregating transpo news (with some exceptions). His “Traffic Jams” feature, which offers song about transportation, seems like blatant post count padding.
- Media Beefs: TBD news editor Ryan Kearney is an expert at putting together Twitter fights in Storify, although if my revenues from this blog are anything to go on, that’s not a particularly lucrative niche.
- Pictures of Things: I’d love to see the traffic stats on these sometime funny slideshows padded out with Flickr photos, like this one about places to be rude in DC.
- Pictures of Things, Actually Taken by TBD: Media headhunters should take a look at TBD photographer Joshua Yospyn, who takes some pretty good shots. TBD’s taken a cue from Village Voice Media sites by running slideshows with sexxy hipsters (and Hooters waitresses) as the thumbnails, then burying the picture you came for.
- Food & Art: Jenny Rogers writes stories about food, like this one about cupcakes, and chases some art stories.
I can’t see how you subsume a mix like that into WJLA or somehow continue to manage it under the TBD brand. Also, the editorial judgment behind the plan to consolidate into arts and entertainment, but still try to compete in transportation and media, seems suspect.
The site’s traffic has stayed roughly the same over the past few months, with a dip in December, according to Compete.
Related: I’ll try to cut back on my outsized coverage of the Flying Dutchman that is TBD. It’s just that their website is still way easier to navigate than the Post’s (sorry, Mr. Narisetti), and thus easier to pick from.
That said, any TBDer’s past or present want to help me figure out what the heck happened there: the email’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related 2: The TBD blog list is about as sobering a lesson in faded glory as you’ll get this side of Ozymandias. Look at all the “archived blogs”—there were so many. TBD Facts Machine, never forget.