New York media website Mediabistro announced this week that its L.A. outpost FishbowlLA was “going on hiatus.”
The apparent closure (hiatus?) follows New York magazine's shuttering last month of its well-regarded Grub Street L.A. foodie blog. Maybe hyper-local niche sites aren't meant to be run from Manhattan?
Seems that could be the case for Mediabistro.
But … FishbowlLA's co-editor, the well-liked Richard Horgan, will apparently stay put covering “the Hollywood trades, awards season and a broad range of national media stories” for the New York site, according to a statement.
An insider tells us that Fishbowl lost momentum in recent months as the site became more focused on TMZ-like Hollywood industry coverage, a beat with intense competition in L.A.
There was also grumbling on the staff, we're told, about Mediabistro's long-distance supervision and lack of understanding of and respect for the market:
A contributor told us, for example, that while pageviews were closely watched, coverage was not, and it led more than once to a writer being assigned to cover something that had already been covered (!!!).
That then contributed to a sense of detachment among some of the local site's core contributors, we were told.
But the central business of Mediabistro seems to be media help-wanted ads and its signature for-profit seminars and soirees, and it's possible those weren't working out for the company in L.A.