What’s in a name? What we know about TBD.com
Legend has it, when trying to name his new computer company, Steve Jobs held a meeting. The goal? To help come to a consensus on a new name.
However, there were rules. If you left you lost your vote, and if no one thought of a better name the company would be named “Apple”.
Allbritton had a similar problem with its latest startup news site. The site, headed by Jim Brady, the company’s head of digital strategy, generated lots of buzz around its new local news startup that would likely compete directly with the Washington Post.
But the company behind Politico had one problem: the site, announced in October, didn’t have a name. This week, however, the company announced the new name: TBD.com.
In a mixture of humor and frustration, Editor Erik Wemple began signing his emails, “Editor, TBD.com.”
Before long, we realized Erik had stumbled upon the perfect name for our site. The traditional news culture is that you don’t publish or broadcast a story until all the questions are answered, all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. The evening newscast or morning newspaper is presented as a finished product, the culmination of a day’s work for the news staff.
But TBD will never be a finished product.
Other vital information
When the company behind Politico ventures into local, people sit up and listen. Not many details have emerged yet, but based on various interviews here is what we know:
- The project includes the merging of two local TV stations.
- The site will rely on geocoding stories to help deliver local news, especially on mobile.
- TBD.com will have 50 employees.
- The site will have no paywall and will instead pursue “new advertising … and new content strategies”
- The company plans to rely on aggregation to cover things like board meetings.
- Site will be a mix of data, community and original reporting.
- The site has seven members on its “community engagement team”
- TBD.com will have a limited number of beats and rely on partner sites for gaps such as business or sports.