Tuesday, January 5, 2010

HitFix for Entertainment Junkies

(Post: English)
"Jennifer Wilhelmi Sargent and Gregory Ellwood first met in 1996 at Variety while helping the Hollywood trade publication with its Internet strategy."

Now Sargent, 32, a Harvard MBA and former marketing honcho at Reed Business Information, and Ellwood, 36, a former editorial consultant and contributor to MSN and The Los Angeles Times, have their own Web venture.

HitFix is an entertainment news site that eschews celebrity gossip for breaking news.

One scoop: HitFix was first with word that rapper M.I.A. had delivered her baby and would not be performing at the 2009 Academy Awards broadcast.

Apart from publishing around 10 original posts a day (written by Ellwood and a staff of four), the site is fine-tuning an interactive tool for entertainment junkies who want to plan their free time around upcoming movies, concerts, and TV shows by punching in their Zip code and preferences.

The site went live in December, and the first-time entrepreneurs say it had more than 200,000 unique visitors in February.

The economic sinkhole hasn't slowed them down, either. They took in $850,000 in angel money in February, and movie studios and TV networks have been snapping up ads.

The co-founders says they're saving on overhead by working remotely - Sargent lives in Washington, while Ellwood is in Los Angeles - and expect the business to break even by yearend.

Source: BusinessWeek

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