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Changes Coming to Local News Site TBD

Changes are coming to TBD.com, a Rosslyn-based local news web site that launched six months ago.

The management of TBD will be taken over by its corporate sibling, television station WJLA (ABC 7), the Washington Post reported today. Station Manager Bill Lord will now oversee TBD’s operations, according to the Post. WJLA.com, which has merely redirected to TBD.com for the past six months, will be run as a separate web site. No staffing changes are planned at TBD.

WJLA and TBD are both owned by Allbritton Communications and operated out of the Allbritton offices at 1100 Wilson Boulevard.

The change comes three months after TBD founder Jim Brady left the site, citing differences with company CEO Robert Allbritton and culture clashes with personnel at WJLA. TBD Managing Editor Paul Volpe left the site two weeks ago for the New York Times.

Keen observers of local media may have noticed that TBD’s Rebecca Cooper, who represents one-third of Arlington’s full-time reporting corps along with ARLnow.com and the Sun Gazette, has been posting fewer Arlington articles as of late — including only one so far this week. But TBD Editor-in-Chief Erik Wemple says that’s because she’s on vacation.

“No conspiracy here,” Wemple wrote via email. He also said that TBD’s Arlington coverage will continue.

An internal source tells ARLnow.com that TBD staff have attended a number of meetings over the past week or two about the direction of the site, and that some new features may be in the works.

At the same time, however, there has been a noticeable drop in the number of stories aggregated on TBD’s home page in the past month. The site has a feature that allows you to plug in a zip code and get headlines from other local web sites. At least for Arlington zip codes, that list is now only sporadically updated.

Disclosure: ARLnow.com was the first web site to join as a member of TBD’s “Community Network” of local web sites. We still maintain that relationship.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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