Allbritton Communications Monday (Aug. 9) launched TBD.com, its
Web site devoted to news of the Washington metropolitan area.
TBD.com is headed by former WashingtonPost.com general manager Jim
Brady, and will combine the reporting of Allbritton's WJLA-TV Washington and
NewsChannel 8, the company's regional cable news operation, which has been
renamed TBD TV.
The TBD is for "to be determined" because, "stories
are constantly evolving and changing and we will continue to update them,"
said WJLA/TBD TV spokeswoman Abby Fenton.
Fenton said there were no plans to rebrand WJLA with new call
letters (the JLA stands for Joseph L. Allbritton), but that the company had
considered calling NewChannel 8 WTBD-TV before deciding on TBD TV.
TBD TV, which will have a staff of about 50 including reporters
and a "community engagement team," will become the combined Web
presence for both WJLA and TBD TV. It will include what is described as
"micro-level" information customizable by zip code.
trying to figure out how to have a mix of content produced by professionals and
make sure we're also keeping an eye on all the great journalism that's being
produced by citizens in the area," said Brady in announcing the launch.
"If we put it all together, we'll have created [a] news report that is
different than anything that you're seeing in the market so far."
The site combines the kind of multi-platform effort broadcasters
argue is key to surviving and thriving in a digital world, while addressing the
FCC's concerns about the future of local news. Entertainment and sports, as
well as news you can use--transportation, dining--will be "key
concentration areas" for the site, according to Allbritton.