New York Times Kills Real Estate Blog

This past weekend, the New York Times published the first issue of Key, a quarterly real estate magazine packed with 150 pages of features and full-page color ads of new condominiums and modern furniture.

Today, the paper officially killed The Walk Through, its real estate blog. The decision to discontinue the blog does not come as a complete surprise: There have been no new posts since Aug. 7.

Launched in November 2005, the blog has seen the number of posts declinining this summer. There were 58 posts in June, 20 in July, and just 2 in the August. That is, until today’s goodbye post.

Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, the Times’ online czar, said that the newspaper is dedicated to trying out different blogs.

“We’re experimenting, growing them, seeing what happens, what works, what doesn’t work, what gets people engaged,” Landman said.

But despite the increased focus and space given to real estate at the Times, the Walk Through didn’t work out.

“The real estate blog was a national real estate blog,” Landman said. “The real estate that seems to really get people involved is local. It’s the local that grabs you by the throat.”

The Walk Through was primarily written by Damon Darlin, a technology reporter based out of San Francisco who’s been breaking Hewlett Packard news this past week on the front page, leaving little time for real estate blogging.

“The nature of ours was that we were not doing as much of the breaking stuff,” Darlin said a few weeks before the blog was terminated. “It tended to be more of an aggregation site than a scoop-oriented blog.”

So will the Times launch a local real estate site, in an effort to grab New York’s property voyeurs?

“Possibly,” said Mr. Landman. “We’re trying different things. We’ve had some success with sports blogs. We’ve launched a couple political blogs. The idea is to spread out around the paper.”

-Michael Calderone