No more TBD.com

This may be one of the last times that TBD.com does what it’s most famous for. Getting media attention, that is.

When I attempted to log onto the site this afternoon, nothing approaching the TBD.com template popped up. Instead, I was redirected to WJLA.com, the other Washington local news site that operates from the Rosslyn offices of Allbritton Communications Co.

“It’s the end,” writes Bill Lord, VP and general manager of WJLA-TV, NewsChannel 8, WJLA.com and TBD.com. Oh, scratch that last one.

Upshot: TBD.com has died its third or fourth — but this time final — death. It launched in August 2010 to insane and silly fanfare, an editorial head count north of 30 and hope that maybe someone could make a living off a forward-looking news site that wasn’t just on the Web, but “of the Web,” as General Manager Jim Brady liked to say.

Such hope lasted months. Brady was out the door before Thanksgiving. In early 2011, the site laid off about half of its staff. As TBD’s editor, I handled that business. Following the tumult, the site slowly bled talent and in June of this year said good-bye to its last editorial employee, according to the Washington City Paper.

So the site just republished stories from WJLA.com, the Web presence of Allbritton’s local ABC affiliate. City Paper noted in June that this little Internet fraud appeared to be working: “Saul Carlin, the director of online media for TBD and sister site WJLA.com, writes in an email that the site continues to have strong audience demographics and will stay operational.” Guess those “audience demographics” figured things out.

Nor did the dual approach work managerially: “It no longer made sense to support the two sites,” says Lord in a brief interview.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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