Tumblr axes multimedia news blog Storyboard

Tumblr CEO David Karp announced this week that Storyboard, its high-profile blog of original content, would be shutting down after one year.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | April 11, 2013

Launched last May, the concept of Storyboard was to produce original stories based on the Tumblr community. Posts could be submitted by anyone and through a multitude of multimedia formats. Host to more than 100 million blogs, Tumblr probably didn’t need any more content.

“After hundreds of stories and videos, features by publishers ranging from Time to MTV to WNYC — not to mention a nomination for a James Beard Award and entries into this year’s NY Press Club Awards — we couldn’t be happier with our team’s effort,” Karp wrote on the site’s staff blog.

“What we’ve accomplished with Storyboard has run its course for now, and our editorial team will be closing up shop and moving on, ” he added.

The blog, which featured everything from profiles to serious reporting, was described as “marketing as journalism” by its Editor-in-Chief Chris Mohney. Its partnerships included Time and New York Magazine.

The four-member staff of Storyboard came with impressive journalism backgrounds. Mohney was previously the editor of Gawker and Gridskipper and oversaw Blackbook magazine. Executive Editor Jess Bennett had formerly worked at The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

The abrupt shutdown comes after a month after Bloomberg reported that Tumblr expected to achieve profitability this year. According to the company’s head of sales Lee Brown, “We expect that the monetization will lead us to profitability this year.” Most of its revenue would come from Tumblr’s mobile app, which ranks as the 50th most-used iPhone app in the US.

“Tumblr has taken in a lot of money and is trying to get to profitability this year,” she said. “They are looking to cut anything that does not contribute to the bottom line. I think it may be as simple as that,” said industry analyst Susan Etlinger to The New York Times in response to the decision to cut Storyboard.

The news is certainly a bad sign for other companies trying to create their own content. Last month, Dan Fletcher, managing editor of Facebook Stories, announced he would be leaving the company, saying that Facebook “doesn’t need reporters” and noting that the site already has a billion members providing content.

Mashable announced that they are working with Tumblr’s editors to publish stories that would have gone up on Storyboard.

Share via
Copy link