partners with HitFix

Posted by · 4:03 am · September 14th, 2011

I’m happy to forward the following exciting news via press release. I’ll get into the details of all of this later today, but for now…


LOS ANGELES, September 14, 2011HitFix, a leader in entertainment news, today announced a strategic partnership with film and awards season blog, In Contention. This mutually beneficial alliance will provide readers and Academy Members with multiple perspectives on compelling content about the upcoming awards season.

“By partnering with In Contention, HitFix is adding another strong voice to our already acclaimed team of Gregory Ellwood, Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Melinda Newman and Dan Fienberg,” said CEO Jennifer Sargent. “The combination of Awards Campaign and In Contention makes HitFix the premier destination for anyone interested in awards season.”, spearheaded by Owner and Editor-in-Chief, Kristopher Tapley, is a premier film blog with an awards focus that provides unparalleled access and expert commentary about all aspects of Academy Season.’s Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Gregory Ellwood, currently pens Awards Campaign, a popular awards season blog that provides behind-the-scenes and in-depth analysis of Hollywood’s yearly strategic march to the Academy Awards., meanwhile, brings a distinctly unique voice and perspective on awards season, as well as invaluable insights from festivals and industry events throughout the year. Combined, the two blogs cover every angle, providing the best and most accurate up-to-date awards coverage.

“It’s so very gratifying to see my six-year labor of love plugged into an impressive infrastructure like HitFix,” Tapley said. “In Contention has always been about establishing a conversation throughout the awards season, with fans and industry insiders alike, and as a part of HitFix, that conversation will only grow. I look forward to tapping an even wider audience and bringing the In Contention community into this new and exciting phase.”

“Kris and his longtime contributor Guy Lodge are smart and insightful pundits who are respected throughout the industry. I’m incredibly excited to have their cinematic opinions incorporated into the HitFix mix,” Ellwood said. “This partnership will make HitFix the premier destination for awards season coverage online.”

In Contention was founded by Kristopher Tapley in 2005. Formerly a seasonal outlet purely focused on the Oscar race, the site bridged the gap with consistent off-season commentary and industry coverage in early 2008 after exclusively covering the film awards season for three years on the web. Regular contributors include Guy Lodge and Gerard Kennedy.

About HitFix
Profiled in BusinessWeek as one of “America’s Most Promising Start-ups,” Los Angeles-based HitFix brings the world of entertainment news and events to discerning fans that prefer entertainment journalism and events to celebrity scandal. The site reaches more than 2 million unique users each month and is designed for an 18-34 year old demographic. HitFix calls on the talents of renowned entertainment commentators and journalists such as Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Daniel Fienberg and Melinda Newman to produce wide-ranging news, interviews and commentary on all aspects of entertainment. For more information visit,, or

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37 responses so far

  • 1 9-14-2011 at 4:41 am

    Prashanth said...

    Surprised, but happy. I wish Kris and Guy all the success.

  • 2 9-14-2011 at 4:46 am

    Samuel said...

    Sounds promising. All the best. Look forward to hearing more.

  • 3 9-14-2011 at 4:50 am

    Snoop said...

    When HitFix got Alan Sepinwall, I started going over to that site pretty frequently.

    And now, they’ve got Kris and Guy? You’ve got to respect the talent and quality Ellwood is brining on as he expands his site. Literally grabbing the best people out there.

    Will this see you writing more, Kris?

  • 4 9-14-2011 at 5:22 am

    Michael W. said...

    Interesting. I just hope it won’t affect this site as such. I really, really, really like the layout here and don’t use HitFix that much (only to read stuff by Drew “Moriarty” McWeeny) because I think the site looks way too, what word should I use – “messy” – for my taste.

  • 5 9-14-2011 at 5:35 am

    Hero said...

    Gah! I don’t like change! But I’m sure this will all work out well, right? Just please tell me this won’t effect Oscar Talk.

    And I suppose I should offer my congratulations. This is really great for you guys.

  • 6 9-14-2011 at 5:56 am

    Ben said...

    Congrats, Kris! I look forward to hearing more about the partnership–but echo the others’ thoughts/hopes that changes will be kept to a minimum.

  • 7 9-14-2011 at 6:26 am

    Suzanne said...

    Wonderful news! Congrats!

  • 8 9-14-2011 at 6:38 am

    JJ1 said...

    I echo a lot of the comments above. Wow! Congrats! Just please don’t change. :(

  • 9 9-14-2011 at 6:48 am

    red_wine said...

    Good news Kris! I just hope that you (and Guy) will retain your individual voice and still cover stuff other than Oscars like you do now.

    And you have to talk about this partnership in detail in this week’s podcast.

  • 10 9-14-2011 at 6:49 am

    marlen said...

    paljon onnea (congrats) from Finland!

  • 11 9-14-2011 at 6:57 am

    Keith said...

    Congrats, Kris!!

  • 12 9-14-2011 at 7:20 am

    Andrej said...

    Congratulations, and wish you the best from this alliance. ☺

  • 13 9-14-2011 at 7:39 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Very glad to see the news so warmly received. Here, by the way, is Greg’s thoughtful welcome note:

    I’ll address the changes you’ll be seeing later today. Inevitably, there will be image alterations. But I can tell you that there will be no editorial alteration whatsoever and that Guy, Gerard and myself will be giving you the same unfiltered awards season coverage we always have, and we’ll even be adding a few elements as we move forward.

    More later this afternoon, but for now, thanks for being on board. You guys are a big reason this thing started percolating to begin with.

  • 14 9-14-2011 at 7:51 am

    Cordy said...

    As a big fan of both sites, I love this move, especially if it gets more people reading Kris and Guy’s writing. Congrats to everyone, but as said above, I too like the simple design of this site and would be sad to see it go, but that’s a small price to pay for you guys to gain a larger readership

  • 15 9-14-2011 at 7:55 am

    Jake D said...

    If this equals more readers and more $$ for Kris and Guy, I love it.

  • 16 9-14-2011 at 8:00 am

    anonymous said...

    Wow, this is unfortunate news. In Contention is and has been one of my favorite blogs to frequent for awards coverage, but I cannot stand HitFix at all. Their design is awful, the people who write on that site are pretentious and overly critical and mostly irrelevant (all they cover are red carpets and TV shows?), which is the exact opposite of what Kris and Guy provide. I’m sorry to be so negative about this, but I’m sad to see In Contention selling out to one of the worst “entertainment” websites on the internet. Honestly, this seems more like a desperate attempt by HitFix to maintain their fading presence online and in Hollywood by scooping up one of the best awards blogs I’ve ever read. You guys are boosting their status, not the other way around. Congratulations anyway.

  • 17 9-14-2011 at 8:07 am

    Junsocko said...

    Expanding is good, changes are always good but PLEASE Kris don’t let Drew McWeeny’s narrow minded opinions have any influence here! This is a great blog, more than great as a matter of fact. Four years ago it answer my question “where can I find some deep analysis about the Oscar race so please don’t let “Ex-Moriarty” have any saying around here. He is too much of a downer.

  • 18 9-14-2011 at 8:11 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    anonymous: You are of course free to your opinion of HitFix (though my perspective, especially after digging in deeper with them the last few weeks, is that they are growing rapidly and are smartly diversifying their content, so maybe that opinion will change some day). But I trust you’ll follow us over to the new space despite that opinion and nevertheless appreciate the kind words. Nothing will change content-wise, so you’ll keep getting what you want from us.

  • 19 9-14-2011 at 8:16 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    I can’t have an opinion until I see what the changes are. I will say I like this specific layout and structure and if it came somehow be incorporated into HitFix that would be best.

    When The Playlist joined Indiewire their layout pretty much remained the same so if you guys could pull that off then all is well.

  • 20 9-14-2011 at 8:20 am

    Reub said...

    Wow! Definitely surprising but HitFix is a great venue so having my favorite site at one of the fastest growing outlets in the movie world is just win-win. Congrats Kris & Guy. I hope this partnership only boosts the already excellent coverage.

  • 21 9-14-2011 at 8:21 am

    AnnaZed said...

    Wait (what!) ” … I trust you’ll follow us over to the follow us over to the new space.”

    I was happy for you until I read that part. Does that mean that I’m going to have to wade through all of the garbage from HitFix on my RSS to find you and Guy? that is not good, sorry.

  • 22 9-14-2011 at 8:25 am

    mikhael said...

    It’s great for you guys, but I just wanna say I like the overall of this site better and the experience reading all the articles. I like InContention more as a blog rather than a commercial website. To quote Sean Parker in The Social Network, “It’s cleaner”

  • 23 9-14-2011 at 8:28 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Anna: No, I’m sure there will be a separate RSS feed for us.

  • 24 9-14-2011 at 8:32 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    I agree. The Hitfix layout just has too much going on that it’s hard to focus when I visit the site.

  • 25 9-14-2011 at 8:52 am

    JJ1 said...

    I trust you, Kris. I think a lot of people are just wary because – like me – incontention is like my second home. I love movies. I love film criticism & film conversation.

    Incontention is, in my opinion, far and away the best blog out there for movies/Oscar coverage. And you have to understand why so many of us (I’m more positive/hopeful) could be slightly concerned. But I repeat from earlier, congratulations, and I’m now looking forward to what’s ahead! :)

  • 26 9-14-2011 at 9:51 am

    Carlo said...

    Wow, this is huge for you guys and I’m really excited to see you, Guy and Gerard on an even bigger market! Six years is a long time and finally your hard work has paid off, Kris! Loyal reader here from all the way in Manila, the Philippines! Congratulations!!:D

  • 27 9-14-2011 at 9:57 am

    Gabriel said...

    This is great, great news. Congrats guys!

  • 28 9-14-2011 at 11:24 am

    rosengje said...

    This is great news! I am a huge fan of Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg’s television coverage (their Firewall & Iceberg podcast is also hugely entertaining).

    Kris, I would ask that you try to maintain as much of In Contention’s design aesthetic as possible. My biggest problem with HitFix is the overly cluttered and cheap look to the site, and I loathe their commenting process. That’s not always reflective of the site’s content but it is a frustrating barrier to entry.

  • 29 9-14-2011 at 12:06 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Good news, hopefully this will add things rather then take away the great things (which I’m know wont happen). Congrats Kris.

  • 30 9-14-2011 at 2:05 pm

    Patryk said...

    Hope the changes are transparent to us. Simply doesn’t get better than this.

  • 31 9-14-2011 at 7:00 pm

    benitodelicias said...

    congrats kris…

    i still remember the first thing I read here, a jesse james review, thinking it looked great, seeing it, loving it and loving this site from that day.

    i agree with others that I hope this doesn’t mean anything to your design since it’s so great.

  • 32 9-14-2011 at 7:32 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I do appreciate the love for the look of the site, guys, but just brace yourselves. It’s gonna look different. But it’ll be okay!

  • 33 9-14-2011 at 11:12 pm

    Jones said...

    Congratulations, Kris. Like some others have said, I was surprised with this announcement and I’m only concerned about the visual changes the site will get. I trust the quality of the content will keep being superb as all of these years, but I just hope whoever designs the new site considers your readership and mantains an uncluttered look with as little ads as possible.

    I really, really don’t want this to be another Cinematical case. When Cinematical got bought by Moviefone, the changes were terribly drastic that I stop visiting that site at all.

    Please, guys, stay true to yourselves. In all honesty, you’re my favourite film blog (Nat Rogers comes second). I wish you the best, while bracing myself for the changes ahead. Cheers!

  • 34 9-14-2011 at 11:13 pm

    Jones said...

    Oh… and, you better keep Oscar Talk with Anne…

  • 35 9-15-2011 at 2:05 am

    Glenn said...

    Way to go, Kris (and the rest of the team). Moving on up in the world, apparently, but some things ya just gotta do! Congrats.

  • 36 2-17-2012 at 9:12 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thought I’d poke back over here as we inch toward the close of the season. I trust everyone’s fears were properly assuaged?