Beyond Project Thunderdome: What's next for the staff?

A breakdown of where Digital First Media's Project Thunderdome staff has gone since the company announced plans to shut the short-lived project down, and some parting thoughts.


  1. Much has been written and tweeted about Digital First Media's decision to cut the power on its ambitious Project Thunderdome. To many, the 'Dome became a symbol of digital innovation for legacy newspaper companies, and a potential model to cut costs while supporting quality local journalism. 

    Much has also been written about the talented staff who very abruptly found themselves without work. The New York City-based operation had amassed an all-star team of 49 journalists with assorted backgrounds at the time of the shutdown announcement. (50, if you include our beloved @thunderdrones.) 

    In the end, we found that it wasn't the model and its buzzy potential that ran a current through the 'Dome. It was the team of journalists and their dedication to the craft of storytelling that made it sing. Although the project's life was short, the staff all leave better-prepared for their next adventures while leaving behind some stories worth sharing. 
  2. This is our real-time barometer of all the Thunderdome talent still available on the job market. 
  3. Welcome to Thunderdome
  4. Where are they now? 

    This will be updated until every Thunderdomer has announced their next adventure. Most recent updates at top.
  5. Due in part to the high-profile nature of Thunderdome's closing, not to mention the team's breadth of talent, it was not long before Thunderdomers began receiving job offers from other organizations. Here are all the formal announcements so far. 
  6. Sarah Glen (features producer): Sarah joined Thunderdome as an intern and quickly became a crucial part of the team before joining the features desk in a permanent role. Her next job takes her to Chalkbeat as engagement associate.
    - added May 7, 2014 - 
  7. John Hendrickson (entertainment channel manager): After leading Thunderdome's entertainment efforts for a year and a half, John heads off to Esquire's digital team as an associate editor.  
    - added May 5, 2014 -
  8. Jillian Sederholm (breaking news producer): From one solid breaking news desk, to another. Jillian landed a job with NBC News, on their breaking news team.  
    - added May 5, 2014 -
  9. Ryan Beckwith (politics channel manager): What would Thunderdome have been without Ryan? He takes his talent to the Washington Examiner.
  10. Jason Fields (national news channel manager): Jason was one of Thunderdome's first channel managers to join the team. His post-Thunderdome gig takes him to Reuters, overseeing their opinion section.
  11. Laura Cochran (features editor): In addition to leading Thunderdome's features desk, Laura consistently pushed Thunderdome to focus on user experience from the ground up. She gets to continue her work at Conde Nast's platform team as user experience lead. 
  12. Yvonne Leow (video editor): One must wonder when Yvonne sleeps. Within days of losing her job, the tireless leader of Thunderdome's video team landed a spot with North Base Media as their new senior associate. Not long after, she was named a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford. 
  13. Karen Workman (deputy breaking news editor): When she accepted her DFMie for SEO headline writing, Karen likened her layoff after a decade with the company to being kicked out of her parents basement. It seems it was time to leave the nest, because her post-Thunderdome job is with the New York Times.