City Desk

Two Weeks Ago, TBD Was Told “No Layoffs”

Today's news that would be laying off 12 staffers, dropping most of its sports and news coverage, and retrenching as a "niche" arts and entertainment site wasn't entirely unexpected. Just two weeks ago, Allbritton executives announced that they were putting the site under the direction of WJLA-TV general manager Bill Lord and dropping the TBD brands from WJLA's website and from News Channel 8, the 24-hour local news station the company owns.

And at the time, the company promised there would be no layoffs.

"They told us not only would there not be layoffs, but that vacant positions would be filled," says one TBD staffer. (Another TBD source confirms that.)

Allbritton CEO Robert Allbritton had attended the meeting earlier this month where the TV rebranding was announced, delivering an upbeat message about the site's future. But he wasn't at the meeting TBD held today to announce the layoffs, which sources say didn't go over very well.

And file this part under "mixed blessings": Staffers whose jobs have been eliminated will keep working at TBD for another four to six weeks, until Channel 7 gets its own website set up again. That postpones unemployment, and keeps the paychecks coming, but it's a long time to continue to show up at a job that's due to expire.

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  • j

    so are you going to start covering every company that lays off 12 people or is this a luxury that you only give to employees of news sources?

  • Mike Madden

    How is it a "luxury" to have this reported, if you work at TBD?

  • j

    The luxury is being reported on only because you are connected within the same industry. When you start covering every time a local company lays off 10+ people, you'll start realizing why this article is unnecessary.

  • Matt S

    As predicted, there are layoffs. Anytime that Wemple comes out and says there won't be any changes or layoffs, you can bank that their will be.

    Sounds like the line they kept towing at City Paper.

  • Matt S

    this article is necessary because many good people in the design and editorial business in the Washington, DC community have lost their jobs. Many people who work for online outfits are doing so after having worked in print. You try losing your job and having your buisiness model constantly shift on you and see if you find this articles to be unnecessary.

  • Pingback: Walking dead? Local news site TBD lays off staffers | ShortFormBlog

  • briefly

    ...and several ex WCP employees now work (or worked?) at TBD. Please don't bring them back, BTW...