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Talking Points Memo is a political news site with a liberal editorial voice.
Commonly known as TPM, it was founded in 2000 by Josh Marshall, initially as a personal blog commenting on the Florida recount in that year’s presidential elections. In 2003, Marshall asked his readers for donations to cover the cost of his reporting on the New Hampshire primary, and later fundraising fueled additional expansion into TPM Muckraker and the reader-driven conversation site TPM Cafe. TPM is based in New York City and has a bureau in Washington, D.C.
TPM is one of the largest, most influential political blogs on the web, with 21 million pageviews and 3 million unique visitors per month as of May 2012.
TPM helped expose controversial comments by Trent Lott in 2002 that led the senator to resign his position as Senate majority leader. In 2007, it played a critical role in investigating the firings of nine U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration, a series of stories for which it was the first online news organization to be granted a George Polk Award.
TPM has employed reporters since 2005, when Marshall raised more than $100,000 from his readers to hire two reporters. It had a staff of 16 in early 2010, and 28 in 2012. It joined the White House press pool in 2009, and Marshall expanded TPM’s DC bureau thereafter. He has said he plans to broaden the site’s coverage into technology, foreign policy, and financial news. As of May 2012, TPM had a total of 28 full-time staffers.
The site practices what Marshall and others have called collaborative journalism or crowdsourcing, using tips, reporting, and explanatory writing from readers alongside original reporting to piece together wide-ranging stories.
TPM Media received no significant investment money until a 2009 investment by the venture fund Andreessen Horowitz; the company is supported almost entirely by advertising. It was profitable as of early 2009. In 2012, the site launched TPM Prime, a membership system that gives access to staff, newsmakers, and a community of other members.
TPM began selling ads in 2003 and began producing videos in 2004, and although its production of original videos dropped off, it has moved back into video as part of a more mobile-centered strategy. It has experimented with video advertising and geotargeted advertising. It began releasing mini-ebooks called TPM Singles in 2012.
TPM’s first mobile app, launched in 2012, was not for the site itself, but for its Polltracker vertical.
The Tribune Company is a Chicago-based media company, the United States’ second-largest newspaper publisher. The Tribune owns 11 daily newspapers, including its flagship, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. It also owns 42 television stations, along with the cable network WGN and the digital music company Gracenote, which it bought in…