In Contention


Posted by · 10:07 am · September 14th, 2011

I’m elated to see that this morning’s news has been so warmly received, both by the readership here and behind the scenes in the industry. In Contention has been — as my quote mentions in the press release — a labor of love since I opened the doors (on an unassuming Blogspot domain) back in August of 2005. It was never intended to go where it went and its yearly growth and success has been heartening to say the least.

When HitFix CEO Jen Sargent asked me for that quote, by the way, I made it a point of mentioning our community here. Because rest assured, you’re all a very important part of HitFix’s decision to reach out to us. We share some overlap in audience, but they recognized this as a community alive and engaged, and something they were interested in adding to their pie. It’s win-win all around as we’ll be reaching a bigger audience with an array of new tools, and that exposure will obviously be a significant commodity going forward.

If you can believe it, these negotiations began as a feeler email a few weeks back. Greg pitched me his full ideas before the “Albert Nobbs” screening in Telluride. Less than two weeks later and we’re facing the biggest change the site has ever seen. It’s dizzying, scary, exciting, all wrapped up into one. But I have the utmost faith in the HitFix team and infrastructure. We are in very good hands here.

A note on some of the overall changes. First and foremost, the site will be housed under HitFix and a redirect from the URL will eventually be put into effect. We will, in fact, be porting over all our archives to the new digs over the course of a few months. I will maintain ownership of the blog and all content therein, and the option will always be there (once the contract expires) to take the material back. I don’t foresee that happening, nor do I want that to ever be the case, because as rewarding as building this thing from the ground up has been, the onus of the various hats one wears at this stage can be taxing. So I’m happy to transfer those over to a much more savvy workforce and focus solely on providing content.

Speaking of which, and most importantly, there will be no editorial interference. We will provide you with the same content we have for nearly six years, and since that content is what brought you here and keeps you here, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that it will move forward undeterred. We will even be looking to add to our overall coverage, expanding our off-season flow and basically just raising the ceiling on what we have to offer. But my Off the Carpet columns, Guy’s The Long Shot columns, Gerard’s unique below-the-line coverage via Tech Support and the Oscar Talk podcast with Anne will all continue to be an important part of our mixture.

There have been a few comments about our design, which is an attractive one for many of you. The reality of moving to the new space is that the blog will conform to HitFix’s layout standards. But I have no doubt we will all adapt. I’m working behind the scenes with the design team on this and that, including some exciting new features for our popular Contenders section. After the initial and inevitable learning curve, I’m sure you’ll settle in nicely. Trust me.

Guy picked a good time to take a vacation in Greece. He’ll be off the map until the middle of next week, and in fact, I imagine the next time you hear from him it will be at HitFix. This will all happen very soon — we’re aiming for as soon as Monday — and we’ll be off to the races with plenty of awards season chatter to keep us busy. But allow me to thank you again for being the audience you are and for following us into this new phase. I’m very excited for the future, and I hope you are, too.

Kristopher Tapley

→ 51 Comments Tags: | Filed in: Daily

51 responses so far

  • 1 9-14-2011 at 10:15 am

    THE Diego Ortiz said...

    WOW! You bought HitFix.

  • 2 9-14-2011 at 10:18 am

    Mark said...

    Good luck to Kris and Guy, not a big fan of the design over at HitFix but looking forward to seeing how InContention integrates. All the best, you deserve it.

  • 3 9-14-2011 at 10:33 am

    Andrej said...

    I’ll miss the classy white and orange, but hopefully the new design will be just as nice, if it’s not better. Best of luck!

  • 4 9-14-2011 at 10:34 am

    Taylor said...

    Incontention’s probably my fav place for awards coverage and reviews so big CONGRATZ to you guys. Exciting stuff!!!!!

  • 5 9-14-2011 at 10:35 am

    jp said...

    Sound’s great, now HitFix nabbed my favorite film site (this) and my favorite tv writer (Sepinwall).

  • 6 9-14-2011 at 10:44 am

    JJ1 said...

    Exciting times, Kris. Very happy for you. Glad to see things more spelled out. :)

  • 7 9-14-2011 at 10:45 am

    JFK said...

    Here’s to hoping it turns out the way you hope it to, Kris!

  • 8 9-14-2011 at 10:46 am

    Sawyer said...

    Congrats Kris & Co.

  • 9 9-14-2011 at 10:47 am

    Will said...

    I’m interested to see how you integrate into the HitFix design, but I would follow you guys to the shittiest Xanga page (remember those?) if I needed to.

  • 10 9-14-2011 at 10:50 am

    Amir said...

    This is exciting. Congratulations.
    I have a question though, since you didn’t mention Guy’s festival coverages among the things that remain unchanged.
    Is he going to continue covering those (and his other reviews that he writes outside the festival circuit)? No website offers as insightful a festival coverage as you guys do so I hope that’s not cut.

  • 11 9-14-2011 at 10:52 am

    /3rtfull said...

    This news actually makes me feel a bit sad. InContention is its own thing. I post here, at Hollywood Elsewhere, and I’m glad all your concerns now are content base.
    I love the white walls of this place. I’ll miss them dearly.

  • 12 9-14-2011 at 10:59 am

    Pope said...

    Congrats Kris and Guy.

  • 13 9-14-2011 at 11:07 am

    James The Greatest said...

    Congrats, guys! Excited to see how things pan out. My In Contention content fix will still be satiated; that’s all that matters to me. :)

  • 14 9-14-2011 at 11:10 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Amir: Guy’s festival coverage will keep going strong. In fact, we’re hoping to step up that coverage and do even more on the festival circuit through the off-season.

  • 15 9-14-2011 at 11:15 am

    Derek 8-Track said...

    I was worried this may provide a future much like the current status of themovieblog. but your words in this post are reassuring and alleviate my worries. Good luck and I’m excited to follow the shift!

  • 16 9-14-2011 at 11:15 am

    Andrew Rech said...

    You guys are absolutely great what at what you do, and a breath of fresh air with the things you write beyond awards coverage. Congratulations Kris and Guy!

  • 17 9-14-2011 at 11:15 am

    Derek 8-Track said...

    and Congrats!!!

  • 18 9-14-2011 at 11:22 am

    Kyle T. said...

    Congrats Kris, Guy and Gerard. Your readership completely trusts your vision. It’s exciting to think the community based around this blog is going to grow, with new viewpoints and opinions entering into the discussion. My heart skipped a beat thinking, oh God, what about Ann and the podcast, so very happy to see it will continue on. I think your partnership with her is an invaluable asset to the website. Exciting News!

  • 19 9-14-2011 at 11:22 am

    Gautam said...

    Congrats Kris .. keep up the gud work !!

  • 20 9-14-2011 at 11:26 am

    Sam C. said...

    As a longtime reader (less often commenter), I’m so happy for InContention. I’ve long considered this the go-to site for awards coverage, and I couldn’t be happier for the new chapter of this site. Great news!

  • 21 9-14-2011 at 11:32 am

    cineJAB said...

    great news! It’s wonderful to hear that the people most responsible for fueling my passion for the film awards world are being rewarded for their work. I’ll certainly continue to read your work over there.

  • 22 9-14-2011 at 11:32 am

    Ben said...

    Love the nod to Bowie in the title.

    Congrats, Kris. and thanks for alleviating the concerns that often happen during these type of partnerships (editorial control, etc.). I look forward to seeing the expanded coverage.

    You mentioned that with HitFix taking over some duties (I imagine the technical/business side of things), you have more time for reviews. I really enjoy your writing about film, and wish you would write more reviews or quick takes.

    Best Wishes.

  • 23 9-14-2011 at 11:33 am

    Aaron said...

    Will we need to update our RSS readers?

  • 24 9-14-2011 at 11:39 am

    maurier said...

    I wish you good luck in this new adventure! I hope your site will get even more exciting (and I’m very happy the podcast with Anne will continue).

  • 25 9-14-2011 at 11:40 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Indeed, Aaron. The lights won’t go off over here immediately so I’ll provide pertinent information in another post here as soon as that’s all ironed out.

  • 26 9-14-2011 at 11:41 am

    Red said...

    This is my introduction to HitFix, so I can’t comment on it’s quality. But you seem to be pretty excited about it, and I trust that you won’t let us down.

  • 27 9-14-2011 at 11:50 am

    sosgemini said...

    Rats! I just removed Hitflix from my Favorites Folder. I really took offense to a couple of McWeeny’s post (in particular his ignorant and insensitive take on The Help discussion) that I just stopped going there. Plus, I’m tired of Austin based bloggers saturating online entertainment coverage.

    At anyrate, I’ll follow you nutters. You’re to much of a habit for me not to. ;-)

  • 28 9-14-2011 at 11:57 am

    Kyle said...

    Way to go man, excited that your brand is getting bigger and bigger, well earned!

  • 29 9-14-2011 at 12:28 pm

    Michael said...

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what happens after the transition over to hitfix!!! So happy and proud for you guys. Congratulations – y’all have certainly earned this. :^D

  • 30 9-14-2011 at 12:36 pm

    Fitz said...

    Glad for your successes, but a little saddened that InContention won’t be its own sentient being anymore. I’ve never read HitFix.

  • 31 9-14-2011 at 12:44 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    We hope you will now, Fitz!

  • 32 9-14-2011 at 12:46 pm

    Rashad said...

    I hate HitFix, but I guess I have no choice now. As long as this url redirects to your new homepage I’m fine. HitFix’s homepage freezes.

  • 33 9-14-2011 at 1:15 pm

    Fitz said...

    As long as you and Guy are writing, I certainly will.

  • 34 9-14-2011 at 1:30 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I’m sad because I like the look of this site so much while I think HitFix’s look is all over the place and in general just very annoying.

    But I have been following In Contention since the blogspot days so there’s no way I will stop because of that. I’ll just hope for the best.

  • 35 9-14-2011 at 1:35 pm

    The Other Ryan said...

    As someone who has followed you since the Oscar Central days (and having a helping hand in inspiring me to go to film school), I’m elated by this news and at your continuing success. Congratulations, Kris, Guy and everyone else who has worked for this site!

  • 36 9-14-2011 at 1:46 pm

    deeks said...

    Congrats on the move. I log in here at least once a day during the season for all the latest news and reviews. Never visited Hitfix but I’ll certainly follow you guys there. Delighted to here that there will be additional off season coverage as a result of the change. I log in regularly in the post oscar season hoping for updates and am always disappointed when nothing is posted for a few days. If this means more regular updates I’m all for it.

  • 37 9-14-2011 at 1:46 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oscar Central’s a looooong way back, Ryan. Thanks for reading.

  • 38 9-14-2011 at 2:10 pm

    Jim T said...

    Congratulations guys!

  • 39 9-14-2011 at 2:11 pm

    Al said...

    I trust you guys and all, but I have my reservations.

  • 40 9-14-2011 at 2:24 pm

    Ella said...

    Best wishes on the move, Kris.

  • 41 9-14-2011 at 2:54 pm

    Joe said...

    My first ever comment – congrats Kris!

    This website is always on my daily net browsing menu (and has been for years) so I look forward to reading you & Guy on HitFix.

    I’ve tried that site a few times and never taken to it (prefer AV Club for the television/entertainment needs), but here’s to giving it another go.

  • 42 9-14-2011 at 3:03 pm

    Linus said...

    I only go on HitFix to read their Breaking Bad reviews but now that you guys are joining I’ll be a regular visitor for sure.

    If it means that more people will read your excellent work then I’m happy. Congrats Kris, Guy and Gerard. :)

  • 43 9-14-2011 at 5:20 pm

    Cordy said...

    As a lot of people have said, between nabbing Sepinwall and now you guys, hitfix has really become an essential site. (and not to knock the other writers, I just don’t know their work as well)

    And as someone who doesn’t comment much but loves the site, I just want to say thanks for the past, present and future coverage. Congrats

  • 44 9-14-2011 at 5:35 pm

    Danny said...

    I’m a regular on InContention and HitFix (movies), more so for InContention. I guess the transition should therefore be easy for me.

    But I like the look and feel of this site just as it is. I hope most of that is retained, with just cosmetic differences at most for the visitors.

  • 45 9-14-2011 at 5:53 pm

    RyanT said...

    Congrats to you! I only ever go to Hitfix for Alan Sepinwall, but now I have more reasons to visit!

  • 46 9-14-2011 at 8:10 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    Bon voyage! Crack a bottle of champagne on the prow of your fancy new ship. (Or whatever. I’m probably saying this wrong.)

  • 47 9-14-2011 at 8:10 pm

    qwiggles said...

    Congrats, guys. I loathe the HitFix design, which breaks my computer, but I will make an exception in your case!

  • 48 9-15-2011 at 2:41 am

    Steve G said...

    Onwards and upwards! Hearty congratulations. Look forward to following you over at HitFix.

  • 49 9-15-2011 at 9:16 am

    Eunice said...

    Glad to find out you guys are partnering up with HitFix. Congratulations! :)

  • 50 9-15-2011 at 12:41 pm

    Checko said...

    congrats! Im so happy for you guys!! .. I really love your work!