By on November 9, 2008

CNN reports that the U.S. said goodbye to 1.2m jobs in 2008. One of them was mine. Last week, TTAC’s corporate mothership took a hard look at the books and concluded that the Managing Editor position is not part of TTAC’s best financial interest. This isn’t specific to The Truth About Cars. Advertising-driven websites follow a very young business model; when sites like Facebook and MySpace are having a hard time drawing in advertisers, you know it’s tough for everybody else. The Truth About Cars, as always, will keep going and be strong. While it doesn’t benefit me personally, this is the kind of decision we always criticize car manufacturers for not making: the right one. We all love The Truth About Cars, or at least many of us do, and for it to stay around, it has to be fiscally responsible. As a result, they’ve given me a jump start in looking for the next step in my career. Which is okay. Meanwhile, I’ll still be doing blog posts, reviews and the occasional editorial for TTAC. In all honesty, I can’t help but tell the truth.

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38 Comments on “The Departed… Me...”

  • avatar

    I thank Justin for his time and talent. I will miss my wingman. A lot.

    There will be some cutbacks and hiccups as we adjust to Justin’s departure, but adjust we will.

    TTAC will continue to provide a steady diet of news, rants and reviews. Our readership is strong (734k p.m.) and page views high (2.5m p.m. plus). We’re here to stay. As soon as we can afford to add staff and/or increase the pay for our freelance work, we will.

    Meanwhile, again, kudos to Justin for helping lay the groundwork for our future. I wish him luck finding gainful employment. He deserves it.

  • avatar

    Sad news, man. I’ll miss ya.

  • avatar
    John R

    See Ya later, Space Cowboy…

    Wish you nothing but the best.

  • avatar

    TTAC has a corporate mothership?

  • avatar

    Ah shit, I’m sorry to hear that you lost the gig, Justin, good luck with finding a new one.

  • avatar

    best financial interest ????? It’s a shame employees have become only a dollar value that can be eliminated when cash is needed to ensure those left can still get their paychecks.

  • avatar

    I LOVE YOU JUSTIN!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    Maybe Autoblog is hiring. 8)

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Bailout bucks for TTAC ! At least you provide a product I find useful which I can’t honestly say about the Detroit manufacturers.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Good luck, Justin. Does this mean the end of podcasts?

    @ factotum: that would be NameMedia.

  • avatar

    Good luck, Justin. I know you’ll land on your feet, and hope you’ll be able to come back when things get better!

  • avatar

    I guess I need to click through more ads of things I don’t want or need to fund this merry cut-throat group.

    There is just too much good stuff in this site so at least please try and contribute.

    I am unemployed, just watched my career evaporate, so I say good luck!

  • avatar

    Thanks for the great writing Justin. Best of luck.

    fisher72, you and me both.

  • avatar
    Usta Bee

    I love the part about websites having a harder time finding advertisers, especially when you consider TTAC. It must be a bitch trying to find advertising when you’ve probably pissed off all the major auto manufacturers by telling the truth about them and their products. Somehow I don’t think Justin will be finding any job applications in the mail from Rick Wagoner or GM anytime soon. ;)

    Maybe Justin could start his own website about other automobile magazines and websites ?. Since he has insider knowledge now, how about “TTATTAC” (The Truth About The Truth About Cars)?.

  • avatar

    Au revoir and good luck! You have done a good job, Justin. Hope the best for you…

    And, Usta Bee. There’s always Car & Driver, if ýou want advertisment driven editorials…

  • avatar

    I’ve enjoyed your writing here, Justin. I’ll be looking for you to pop up elsewhere. Well done and carry on.


  • avatar

    Well, at least it wasn’t titled “The Dearly Departed”….

    Sorry to hear this, Justin. Good luck.

  • avatar
    Don Gammill

    Justin, I’ve always enjoyed reading your stuff and am glad you’ll still be around to contribute. Good luck in the future.

  • avatar

    Damn! See ya. Good luck!

  • avatar

    Have you at least gotten good bar results? I realize I can’t expect it every day, but are continuing cameos on the (hopefully soon to return) podcast a possibility?

  • avatar

    Don’t worry about being lonely. Most of us will be joining you down at the local soup kitchen soon enough.


  • avatar

    I’ll be welcoming you all in the door at that kitchen…

    So yeah, does this mean no more fun banter on the podcasts with you and Justin? I’m going to miss those.

    Good luck on your future endeavors at any rate, and to TTAC as well. Christ, we can’t be left to Autoblog as our only interweb auto resource…

  • avatar

    Justin, You’ll be missed by those you’ve never met but enjoy your take on all things cars nonetheless.

    Best success to you, and keep us posted where you land!

  • avatar

    Justin, Justin, Justin …

    Come to China! Xinhua is hiring foreign editors. Auto sales still up. You could do podcasts via VOIP. You could import one personal car tax free and live in grand style for a year on the proceeds alone.The world needs writers like you … alive.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Later J-man. May the wind be always at your back, and may the radar guns always malfunction in your presence.

    It’s been an honor!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Sad news indeed. Don’t be a stranger Justin … and all of us should click on those ads a little more often ….

  • avatar

    Really sorry to hear this, Justin. I greatly enjoyed your car reviews. Best of luck at wherever your career takes you next.

    I hope that Web sites like TTAC will find a way to become really profitable somehow, since newspapers and magazines are facing such huge cutbacks and financial declines.

    The ‘net is the future, but it won’t be worth it if they can’t find a way to employ quality people for the job.

  • avatar

    Even when it’s your head on the block, you’re calling it “just business” – those are some big-boy-britches you’re wearing, JB. Sad evidence that even the best ships can aground in low tide.

    Good luck with your next gig.

  • avatar

    Usta Bee has a point: When you tell the truth about cars, this doesn’t make you a lot of friends in the car business. Especially not amongst those with the big ad budgets. I’ve heard stories of big car companies canceling their yearly contracts with large print magazines after just one critical story. Imagine what they do to a site that lately had to show more sinking ships than shiny sedans?

    Maybe it’s time to consider paying for the honor of being a part of TTAC. Would a dollar a month be too much? Let’s see. With 734k readers a month, that would be $734k. Even if paid readership plummets to 10% of itself, that’s still $73K a month, enough to survive, especially if there is still the odd ad dollar or two.

    I appreciate RF’s remarks about “and/or increase the pay for our freelance work.” However, if the B&B agree to pay a buck a month, I vow to do the Iacocca, and work for a buck a year.

  • avatar

    Yeah, but then, if you are telling the truth, you can not be dependent on other peoples money and whim. Either you go all the way, or there’s no point in doing it.

    There’s also a saying in the journalistic world, “Publish, or be damned…” meaning that the journalistic integrity is more important than the eventual sorrowed pride of advertisers. The publisher, in this case Robert Farago, has a responsibility to the readers of telling the truth, no matter the consequences. Re the vagina-faced Subaru Tribeca-debacle.

    Also, having integrity is a selling point in itself. TTAC wouldn’t be the place to be, if it wasn’t for peoples wishes of upholding that integrity. It’s intrinsic for the purposes of this site. If Farago et al would have wanted to make it easier for themselves or make a boatload of cash, they would have done so long ago in some other field of work.

  • avatar

    Exactly, Ingvar. Let’s all chip in. Where else do you get the truth, and nothing but the god damned truth for a buck a month?

    PS: It’s “Publish or perish” … a milder version, with the same consequences.

  • avatar

    We’ll miss you Justin! And we’ll miss you even more if/when you become a lawyer. You were planning on passing the bar exam, right?

    And what’s that about corporate mothership?

  • avatar

    I’ll take a guess the corporate mothership is, since it’s the company mentioned in the T&A link below and also holds the same list of sites in the About Us section here.

    But I could be wrong.

  • avatar

    GL Justin, always enjoyed your work and insight.

  • avatar

    Good luck. I hope you will drop a line now and then. Sense of humor is commodity that is hard to put $$$ on.

  • avatar

    Good luck in whatever new endeavor you find yourself Justin. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews.

  • avatar

    McQueen really did miss that turn in Bullitt and the amount of wheel-hop was dramatic when he did a burn-out backing up. I’m a little unclear as to how it applies to departing the premises but it’s still a good picture, regardless.

  • avatar


    I am glad you won’t actually be leaving, especially since I just got a lot more respect for you (and for RF). It’s a shame more organizations can’t have employ relations like TTAC.

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