For people who automatically equate artistic freedom with not being under any sort of corporate yolk whatsoever, this might cause some alarm. I’m not one of those people: I don’t think that we will see any major change in the overall editorial voice of TWOP at all. I think that there are people who can do great work within the system, and my guess is that the TWoP gang will do just fine.
First off, it’s not like the TWoP editorial voice has ever been that of pure objectivity. These people are fans of the medium and the shows, and that fandom is what fuels the writing. So even when they’ve been able to interact with the creators and stars of the shows that they write about, that hasn’t stopped them calling the show’s writers out on a bad episode when one airs.
As a matter of fact, there are cases where the writers are such fans of the shows they write about — I’m thinking about Jacob, who writes the epic Battlestar Galactica recaps — they overreact to weaker episodes because those eps don’t necessarily hit their standards.
Secondly, it’s not like they aren’t a known entity: Bravo knows exactly what they are getting, and it isn’t in anybody’s best interest for them to frack with TWoP. A site that gives nothing but glowing writeups to every single episode of every single Universal-produced show is going to lose traffic, and therefore profit.
I equate it to when bands like the White Stripes or the Replacements get signed to a major label: sure, a certain contingent of their fandom is so suspicious of corporate America that they are sure that it’s a total sellout, but there are others of us who actually look forward to those records, because it might be fun to see what the band can do with the extra budget.
Trust me, it would be nice to be paid to write this instead of just throwing it together in 15 minutes while I’m at work.