Dept. of It Never Rains But It Pours: Hot off the news that Entertainment Weekly is building a new business model on the backs of unpaid contributors comes word, via Recode, that NBC-Universal will be shutting down both Television Without Pity and DailyCandy at the end of next week. Adding insight to injury, the sites’ archives will be taken offline, though the report promises they’ll be “saved in the digital ether.”
Layoffwise, DailyCandy’s shuttering has the biggest impact — 64 employees let go to Television Without Pity’s three — but the loss of the TWoP archives is gutting. From its early days as Mighty Big TV, the site, cofounded by Tara Ariano, Sarah D. Bunting and David T. Cole, the site essentially set the template for the modern TV recap. The writing was proudly snarky but often insightful, offering weekly insight into shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer in an era when many publication were still treating TV like a red-headed stepchild. TWoP’s founders set up shop last year at Previously.tv, where they’re still finding new ways to cover the ever-growing medium, but losing all that history hurts. Here’s how some of Television Without Pity’s contributors, many of whom have gone on to prominent media berths, are mourning the loss. Post your favorite TWoP pieces in the comments or send via Twitter to @IW Criticwire and we’ll collect them here.
On one hand, I owe literally my whole career to TWoP. On the other, better you burn my childhood home than make it an Axe cologne warehouse.
— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) March 27, 2014
I was never a huge recapper, but TWoP (& Fametracker, 90210 Wrapup &c before it) created the voice of much pop-culture writing today. Sad.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) March 27, 2014
Re: TWoP: “It will all be saved in the digital ether but will not be available to the public” is like Arc being warehoused at end of RAIDERS
— Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) March 27, 2014
If it weren’t for #TWOP we’d never have awkwardly written episodes of The West Wing where Aaron Sorkin pretends to understand the Internet.
— ScarlettMi (@ScarlettMi) March 27, 2014
The disappearance of the TWOP archives is basically a crime to Internet history. I never worked there, but I owe so much to it anyway.
— kateyrich (@kateyrich) March 27, 2014
I lament the death of TWoP (which profoundly changed my life), but I’m especially reminded to thank the people who made it what it once was.
— Stephen Thompson (@idislikestephen) March 27, 2014
TWOP was the place that opened my eyes to what TV criticism could be: http://t.co/IPPBfAYjsW
— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) March 27, 2014
TWoP was among the influences in learning how I wanted to write about TV. Sad, sad, sad day.
— Andrea Towers (@atvgeek82) March 27, 2014
Television Without Pity is the reason you all are even subjected to my blatherings here today. Bummer of a day, no matter how inevitable.
— joereid (@joereid) March 27, 2014
— Tara Ariano (@TaraAriano) March 27, 2014