The Huffington Post has publicly- and passive-aggressively- ceded the name for its new parenting channel, announcing to readers that it never really wanted the “Parentlode” moniker for its new vertical in the people-with-kids arena.
In case you missed it, HuffPo poached a few of the New York Times‘ writers, one of which authored the Gray Lady’s parenting blog, punnily-titled “Motherlode.” As if that wasn’t a kick in the shin for the paper as it struggles to cement a web presence to rival its print dominance, the newly-acquired writer was announced along with a channel on HuffPo dubbed “Parentlode.” Predictably, the Times kicked up a bit of a fuss, and lawyers for the paper said to Huffington in a letter:
“While we are flattered by your focus on our blog and your apparent fondness for its name, we obviously cannot permit you to adopt a name whose sole purpose is to create an association in the minds of readers with our ‘Motherlode’ blog.”
A lawsuit followed the letter from the Times‘ lawyers in early November. Belkin announced late last week that the Huffington Post was dropping their end of the tug-o-war rope in a post dripping with snark, one in which she says “Parentlode” was a name the HuffPo “frankly… never really loved.” She seems to think the Times has no real claim to the name, is insulted about the cease-and-desist letter that greeted her maiden effort for HuffPo, and sniffs:
Things can get petty and prickly in the sandbox. Sometimes there’s that kid who throws the sand around, and won’t share toys, and picks fights instead of playing nicely… Well, you can fight back, but the end result will probably just be more thrown sand. Or you can take your child by the hand, smile benignly at the bully, then go off to the ice cream shop and have a delightful afternoon.
Make mine chocolate chip.
Belkin goes on to add that the Huffington Post is making a contest out of the name selection, with the winner receiving a trip to New York, lunch with the blog’s team (including Arianna Huffington), and a tour of the company’s offices. She also can’t resist a parting shot, saying that the name “Whatta-lode” as a new suggestion “isn’t on the table.”