Hollywood trade journalists have gone stir crazy. Sort of. With the trades Variety and Hollywood Reporter bleeding and LA Times in its own existential paroxysm, well known journalists are breaking away, starting their own sites, and selling off to, well, Jay Penske. Back to the news at hand: Anne Thompson, former deputy editor of Variety.com and a blogger in her own right on Thompsononhollywood blog since 2007, has now broken away from Variety and gone indie, in more ways than one. She was laid off from Variety in Jan this year, but continued publishing her blog with them until now. TheWrap reports that she will go independent after this month, and has signed up with Rick Allen, the CEO of SnagFilms and IndieWire, to promote and sell ads on her blog. She will also get promotion through IndieWire network. Are we going to see more brand-name journalists going IndieWire’s way?
SnagFilms is the new movie streaming and distribution site founded by Allen last year and is backed by Ted Leonsis, the vice chairman emeritus of *AOL* and *AOL* founder Steve Case, among others. It bought IndieWire last year from GMD Studios. We interviewed Leonsis and Allen last year on this.
Meanwhile, the question to ask is: are their enough endemic advertisers in the Hollywood trade category to support them all? It is not as if the studios and networks are flush in cash these days. All of them are hoping for the vanity for your consideration ad category, which has been artificially inflated this year by Oscars’ decision to bump up the number of nominees for each category to 10. But is there enough to support 10 different sites, all covering the same sector?