Last week Discovery.com, once one of the leading 'original content' online sites, laid off most of what was left of their editorial, design and production departments. Just a few years ago Discovery.com positioned itself to give nationalgeographic.com a run for its money by tapping some of the best of its TV channels' editorial prowess and building new and original web presentations around them. A staff of 60 designers is now down to 2.
Under the direction of former Art Director Pat Kelley (a web veteran with stints as AD at washingtonpost.com and AOL), Discovery.com launch one of the slickest and most usable Flash interfaces for its sites this past spring. While most of that remains, the site itself has turned into little more than a 'TV Guide' for Discovery's TV listings. Too bad 'cause they could have been a contender.