Changes Coming to Local News Site TBD

by ARLnow.com February 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm 3,205 16 Comments

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

  • FedUp

    I’d rather read arlnow. TBD’s site looks disorganized. Maybe because they are.

    • Arlington Native

      I agree…I miss the old wjla.com news website.

  • Bluemont John

    ArlNow is great, but I hate to see any Arlington news source go away. The Post is a joke, and the Stun Gazette is heavy on fluff. The City Paper acts like we’re a suburb of Richmond. If anyone can fix TBD, it’s Wemple–IF WJLA will leave him alone and give him free rein to do his job.

  • Lou

    I never really “got” TBD for whatever reason. I usually just found links back to articles I had read elsewhere, or the same basic coverage.

    My local news source rankings:

    4)Sticking my head out the window and looking around
    6)Staring at my cell phone waiting for txts
    9)Eavesdropping on the homeless
    10)”Patch” sites

    • Bluemont John

      Yeah, it’s a dumb and puzzling name. To Be Determined? What? FYI or even DMV would make more sense.

      You could check out greatergreaterwashington.org for general stuff on DC development/transit/etc. Sometimes includes stuff on Arlington. Even if you disagree with its views, it’s still informative.

    • Bluemont John

      Also, this site (though not a news site) is often informative:

    • Finfin

      Lou – you nearly made me snot coffee out my nose – but I completely agree with your list.

  • G. Clifford Prout

    Maybe my brain has atrophied, but I could never grasp the TBD brand.

  • Worktron

    ArlNow- your best source of local info IMHO (and such scintillating and stimulating discussions!)

    • Thanks for the kind words, everybody.

  • Novanglus

    I’ve been waiting for things to be determined in Rosslyn…looks like they finally have.

  • Just Me

    I hated the change, glad it will go back to WJLA, the TBD website is crap.

  • MB

    Never been a particular fan of the TBD brand, but Rebecca Cooper and Dave Jameison do *excellent* reporting, and I hope it’s true that they’ll be sticking around.

    And, of course, ARLnow is still the best source of Arlington news around. I just hope the commenting community can rise to meet that standard.

  • Rick

    The ballston patch is the worst. Typos, bad info, bad shtick. I frequented news8.net when it was still around, tbd.com is more of a lifestyle site than a news site. I’d rather read here and assume nothing of interest is happening in MD or DC

  • Steve

    I think TBD was an ill conceived, poorly executed idea. I for one, stopped looking at JLAs website shortly after they made the change. Very limited content on stories available elsewhere….and with more info elsewhere.

  • I hate TDB and sorely miss the old WJLA. Thankfully, I found arlnow and I just read you instead. 🙂


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