Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Disney’s “Green” Ideal Bite Site Set to Go Dark

heather_yogaWhen last we checked in on Ideal Bite, Disney’s green newsletter, there was a debate about whether the unit was folding, as its employees seemed to think, or in “transition” and “under review,” as Disney preferred to describe it.

This should clear things up: The site and its email editions are going on “indefinite hiatus,” according to an email the company plans to distribute next week.

Ideal Bite is supposed to eventually resurface in some form via the “Go Green” section of Disney’s Family.com site, but that won’t do much for the company’s employees, who I’m told will be out of work as of Dec. 9.

A person familiar with the company says the only two exceptions are co-founders Heather Stephenson and Jennifer Boulden, who will remain employed until March. I’ve asked Disney for comment, but haven’t heard back yet.

Ideal Bite is one of the many newsletters backed by Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group, which sold the company to Disney (DIS) for a reported $20 million in 2008. Pittman’s biggest success to date has been DailyCandy, which Pilot sold to Comcast (CMCSA) for $125 million a year and a half ago.

That unit, which is now slated to become part of the Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture, is now paring back some of its local editions, the result of what it said today was “a very challenging year.”

Here’s the draft text of the email Ideal Bite plans to send out next Monday:

Dear Biters:

For the past 5 years, Ideal Bite has helped make “light green” a way of life, leading to many meaningful changes. Together we’ve made the switch to organic food, CFL light bulbs, reusable water bottles, and paraben-free shampoos, and have inspired others to follow our lead.

Those small changes really have added up and have helped push green to the mainstream. As you’ve probably noticed, lately, our Ideal Bite guides, tips, and other content have become more family and home focused. And now, as part of the Walt Disney family of companies, it makes sense for us to join the Disney website Family.com, which focuses on women and moms, and is expanding the Go Green section of its site.

What does that mean for you? Starting next week, all Ideal Bite email editions and the website will go on indefinite hiatus as Family.com readies new ways to serve you Biters – through email, website, mobile, and video content. In the meantime, keep checking Family.com’s Go Green section for content and updates.

Thanks for Biting with us over these past years. We’ve had a blast sharing our tips with you all, and we look forward to downing a virtual glass of biodynamic wine with you in the future.

Until then, as always, Happy Biting.

The Ideal Bite Team


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik