Time Inc. Buys Then Quickly Kills Fast Lane Daily

Illustration for article titled Time Inc. Buys Then Quickly Kills Fast Lane Dailyem/em

FastLane Daily, the longest-running car show on YouTube and one of the oldest shows period on the platform, is no more. In a tearful message to more than 300,000 subscribers, host Derek DeAngelis announced that new owner Time Inc. told them yesterday that the channel would be put on “hiatus for the foreseeable future.”

In February Time Inc. announced that FastLaneDaily would be acquired along with the /Drive car channel and put under the banner of TheDrive.com, capping off a complicated and confusing deal that should have happened a year ago.

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In today’s video Derek D says that he was optimistic about the Time Inc. acquisition hoping it would mean a bigger budget, but also constantly wondered if it was “really a good thing.”

“As time went on, no pun intended there, we never really, to be quite honest, felt at home here,” he said. “People just didn’t seem to care and it sucked. A loyal fanbase doesn’t really matter to the bottom line.”

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He added:

I want to make it abundantly clear that I thank you guys, the fans, for sticking with me and this show for so long. It’s been a part of my life for almost nine years, so you can imagine it’s hard for me, coming to the realization that it’s most likely done.

From a TubeFilter story on the deal earlier this year, emphasis mine:

“I’ve worked as a journalist for 20 years and I’ve yet to witness the sort of unfettered entrepreneurialism at play within this company now, where the freedom to propose new initiatives is finally matched by the funding to pursue them,” added Matt Bean, Time Inc.’s SVP of Editorial Innovation, in a blog post. “This merging of The Drive and DRIVE/FLD is the rarest of circumstances. We didn’t have to choose between building or buying. We did both.”

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He didn’t say anything about keeping it, though.

It’s a real shame to see an early automotive video pioneer meet such an abrupt end. FLD’s first episode was in 2007, making it practically a dinosaur in internet years. But the show’s audience was big for a reason—it reliably, irreverently and energetically delivered a daily stream of news for enthusiasts in a way that’s been often imitated but seldom duplicated. At least, not effectively.

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TheDrive.com has its own daily news program Drive Wire, but it has about a 1/10th of the production value or charm, and is more a 60-second daily excuse to run Volvo logos on video than anything else. Derek D suggested his viewers go watch that, if they want.

We at Jalopnik wish the team at FLD all the best, wherever they end up.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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DISCUSSION

Hey, one of these days, could you (or someone) write a story on the whole history with Farah, Drive, the Drive, Spinelli, Jalopnik, etc? I’ve heard that Spinelli started Jalopnik, then I think he was part owner of /drive with Matt Farah, then something happened and Matt started his own thing and Harris and some others had all kinds of stuff up in the air with /drive or thedrive or spinelli or whatever, then spinelli was back to doing videos himself for a minute before everything went dark from him and his people (at least, that’s not paid) and now thedrive is some big media conglomerate and people are upset because some paid subscription option with one of these channels was crap?

The entire jalopnik side of the automotive press seem to be connected through interwoven stories, and it’s kinda difficult to put the whole picture together from podcasts and occasional jalopnik articles.