News Culture

Bon Voyage to The War Zone, Now an Independent Site

After nearly eight years, The War Zone is shipping out to its own site at twz.com. Here's what you need to know.
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Something I’m often asked as The Drive’s editor is how a car site ended up covering defense tech, warfare, and geopolitics—and how we do a better and deeper job of it than major news orgs. The short answer has always been that we don’t. The War Zone does. Separate teams, separate brands sharing a URL for reasons that made a lot more sense to our (now dead) puppet masters eight years ago. It’s been a gas, but today TWZ’s editor Tyler Rogoway and I are thrilled to announce the thing we’ve been striving for all this time: The War Zone is moving to its own separate site, twz.com. Bookmark it!

Whether it’s the cars or the fighter jets (or both) that’s brought you in the door, there’s a lot to be excited about for both The Drive and The War Zone with this change. I want to address a couple big logistical points up front:

  • Commenting: Your OpenWeb commenting login will work for both sites, no need to make a new one.
  • TWZ Access: In addition to twz.com and thewarzone.com, both of which will take you to the new site, The War Zone will continue to be accessible from The Drive via the link in the upper right corner and the navigation bar for a short period.
  • URLs: All the old URLs for TWZ stories have been redirected to their new domain, so any bookmarks or saved links you have should still work.

So why are we doing this? I know this separation will be annoying to some of you and I’ll do my best to sell it without sounding like a parent trying to convince you that a divorce will actually make everyone happier. The added bit of friction in jumping between the two sites is worth the benefits it’ll bring to both, and by extension to you as our readers.

First and most obvious, Tyler and the TWZ crew deserve their own site, and for our parent company to pour resources into building it out is a much-needed validation of what they’ve created here. Their reporting and analysis on everything from the war in Ukraine to U.S.-China tensions to now the expanding conflict in the Middle East is without peer, as is the community of incredibly loyal commenters they’ve fostered.

And to do it all on what was essentially a subsection of an automotive outlet, with almost no ability to define their space other than through the words they put on the page… can you imagine what they’ll do with their own full site? Especially now, in a world riven by conflict, TWZ is positioned to reach a much wider audience as the vital resource it’s always been.

This next point is key: as fun as it was to be the only place on the internet to get cars and defense news in the same place, the truth is the arrangement was limiting for both brands. Technical upgrades were nigh impossible for TWZ’s old landing page and the broader site supporting two brands with very different needs. On the biz side, the unique mix of content was a tough sell for advertisers, preventing both of us from capitalizing on our growth in the last 5+ years and reinvesting that money in our operations. And without separate domains, both The Drive and The War Zone stories were never able to get the proper exposure to new readers on Google. Now, everything is set up like it should’ve been all along: cars over here, defense over there, still linked by the goal of giving you passionate coverage you can’t find anywhere else, and finally positioned to take off big time.

(One day I’ll give you the full story of how this shotgun marriage happened in the first place, but that’s a media business lesson for another time.)

On a personal note, Tyler has been an absolutely invaluable resource and friend of mine since I started as editor-in-chief in 2019. I’ve learned so much from his leadership of The War Zone, his take-the-hard-way ethos, and his methodical dedication to his craft. The Drive’s approach to covering the car industry and culture—always trying to do a better, deeper, more original job than anyone else—has been directly shaped by working alongside TWZ for eight years, and for that I am forever grateful.

Though today is a big change for TWZ, it’s also a huge day for The Drive. We are now officially, fully a car enthusiast site, though even that label is a bit limiting. The Drive has always looked beyond cars to bring you an unparalleled range of stories from the past, present, and future of how we move through the world. Now, we too are in full control of our destiny. We’ll have a lot more to say about how we’re seizing the moment very soon, but believe this: it’s full speed ahead. Things are going to get very interesting.

Have more questions about all this? Email me: kyle@thedrive.com