Forbes Shutters True/Slant
Social-driven news site True/Slant, which Forbes acquired in late May, is heading for the trash heap. In a blog post on Thursday, True/Slant writer and reporter Neal Ungerleider said "the site, unfortunately, is winding down operations at the end of July."
Effective June 1, True/Slant founder and CEO Lewis Dvorkin was expected to join Forbes to lead all editorial areas at Forbes as chief product officer. And while some on Thursday said the shutdown was expected, that wasn't at all clear upon news of Forbes' acquisition in May. Going forward, "The small True/Slant team ... will now be working side-by-side with talented and dedicated journalists at Forbes Media," said Dvorkin at the time.
Forbes representatives with knowledge of True/Slant's fate could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
Since its founding last summer, True/Slant has relied on independent journalists -- known as "knowledge experts" -- who are assigned to specific topics, including politics, culture, sports, business, health, science and food. Each contributor got a dedicated page to feature their work with the goal of attracting a network of highly engaged followers. Pages also feature headlines from around the Web, which contributors select themselves.
Presently, True/Slant has more than 300 contributors whose work is divided into 18 topic areas, Dvorkin said in a open letter in May. Dvorkin also projected that "a record" 1.5 million unique users "will have visited our site," in May.
Alluding to future plans, Ungerleider said in his blog post on Thursday: "I hope to rejoin some former True/Slanters at a new -- as of yet disclosed -- project."
From December 1996 to April 2000, Dvorkin served as executive editor of Forbes magazine. More recently, he started consulting for Forbes in April of this year.
In his new role, Dvorkin is being expected to create and implement new editorial initiatives, as well as re-imagine Forbes.com and the magazine itself.
For months prior to Forbes' acquisition, True/Slant had been engaged in second-round fund-raising, according to Dvorkin. He also said Forbes Media was an original investor in True/Slant.
True/Slant was just the latest "new media" acquisition for Forbes, which has undergone painful transitions in the face of rapidly changing market demands.
Last November, one month after it was forced to cut 100 jobs -- from both the editorial and business side -- Forbes acquired FlipGloss Media. Santa Monica, CA-based FlipGloss helps publishers -- including Variety and Scripps Networks -- and advertisers create and distribute interactive, magazine-style content packages, which are designed to increase user engagement and ad performance.
After leaving Forbes, Dvorkin joined AOL as senior vice president of programming, where he was responsible for news, sports and network programming. At AOL, he is also credited with helping to launch top gossip site TMZ.com.
During his career, Dvorkin has also served as Page One editor of The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times.