Monday, June 30, 2008

Toronto Life blogs shut down, without explanation

[This post has been updated]Well, we'd like to know why. Toronto Life has snuffed out Philip Preville's City State blog less than a month after launching it with some fanfare. They have also discontinued James Chatto's foodie blog, Chatto's Digest. No word yet on Douglas Bell's Spectator blog. Preville went out with a column merely saying it was the last posting. Chatto went out with a headline that said it was the last posting (but nothing in the body of the post by way of explanation). Bell, whom you might think would comment on such shenanigans, has said nada. So we have to ask: is there anyone out there who knows why these apparently leading edgy initiatives have been deep-sixed. If so, post a comment or let us know by sending an e-mail (see address in the sidebar). [Thanks to Torontoist for alerting us to this.]

[Update: There have been some suggestions that the magazine was trying to maintain the same standards of editing and fact-checking on the blog items as in the print magazine itself and found it impossible to maintain.This wouldn't explain why City State was launched and then killed; surely they could have predicted the editing burden before launching it.]

[Update: It's usually useful to follow the money; in this case, apparently, the web division of St. Joseph Media has been ordered to slash budgets in the face of declining ad revenues -- think GM and Ford, for instance. So even the small amount paid to freelancers Chatto, Preville and Bell has been red-pencilled, as has most budget for original online content. The implications for St. Joe's online strategy is anyone's guess, but will they be considered players if they are not playing?]

[Update: Another shoe dropped. According to an interview published by mastheadonline, Doug Bell's Spectator blog ends tomorrow.
Tomorrow will see the last posting at Douglas Bell’s blog, which launched four months ago as a thorny chronicle of “media, money, egos.” Spectator was a broad-based reincarnation of Bell’s former blog, The Trial of Conrad Black, which inevitably ended last February. “Obviously, I wish it had gone on longer,” Bell says. “Four months wasn’t even enough time to clear my throat.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang it! I LOVED the City State blog. Bring it back, TL!

10:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, how embarrassing... and typical of the reactionary short-sighted thinking going on over there.

2:02 pm  

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