WaPo‘s opinionated media blogger Erik Wemple wrote a down and dirty piece Monday on Robert Allbritton’s purchase of Capital NY. Nothing that remarkable in it except for his own disclosures of what a failure he believes he was at TBD. Actually who knows…maybe the story had juicy nuggets, but we were all tunnel vision on those full disclosures. And not one, but two. Come on, Erik Wemple Blog! Couldn’t have been all your fault. Stop being so hard on yourself!
A. “That same year, Allbritton launched Washington-area news site TBD.com, a generously funded project that fizzled in near-record time under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”
Some 14 graphs later…
B. “By acquiring Capital, the Politico brain trust shows that it’s learned some things since the quick and spectacular failure of TBD.com under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”
Wemple goes on to discuss the reasons TBD may have tanked, and funny, some seem to have little to do with him.
1. What he wrote: “No. 1: Capital is unchained to a legacy television station, whereas TBD.com launched under a partnership with WJLA-TV, setting up a destructive clash of news cultures. What’s the opposite of synergy?” Translation: WINK! WINK! WJLA IS THE LOSER HERE. IT WASN’T MY FAULT!
2. What he wrote: “TBD.com, in the best spirit of the Internet, made a huge community-outreach play, with a staff of folks entrusted with establishing alliances with area bloggers and otherwise hooking the grassroots on the site. Politico-Capital, on the other hand, is going after “a sophisticated insider audience of New York’s most powerful.” Its community, in other words, is the community of rich people. Capital currently has four “verticals,” or topic areas, on its site: politics, media, culture and sports. Translation: WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT? BLOGGERS AREN’T RICH. EVERYONE KNOWS THEY CAN’T EVEN AFFORD LUNCH. WASN’T MY FAULT!
3. What he wrote: “TBD.com started big — with about three dozen editorial staffers at its peak — and moved toward small — losing its last employee in June 2012. Capital is small and is heading toward bigger.” Translation: NOT MY FAULT! HMMM…MAYBE IN PART MY FAULT?