digital strategy

by eug
September 24, 2010 1:05 AM
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A bunch of people recently spent a lot of time trying to figure out how and when to announce the news that I'd be leaving indieWIRE. I'd made the decision a week ago in Toronto and was anxious to share the news with friends and colleagues in as transparent a manner as possible. I had nothing to hide, was excited about my decision and felt that indieWIRE would be not only survive, but thrive after my departure.

We crafted a quick plan to make the announcement, press releases were prepared and I wrote a personal piece about my move. But, in the end, Mike Fleming at Deadline got the scoop and tipped me off with an email that he was about to report my departure. I was still on the phone with James Schamus, briefing him on my plans, when I started getting emails from inside Focus Features congratulating me. Had James emailed his staff while still chatting with me, I asked one of his colleagues?

"Uhm. Its on Deadline," the Focus PR department friend shot back. Of course it was.

Mike had the story mostly right and I called to him to clarify a few points. He updated his blog post. We chatted for a bit and I told him how hard it was to make the decision about whether to leave indieWIRE. He said he empathized with me, recalling his own feelings when he left Variety for Deadline.com. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, but I now have so many amazing email messages, Tweets, Facebook posts and online comments to mark the moment. Blog posts by Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn, in particular, really made my day. Among the truly odd highlights is a hilarious rant by Jeff Wells. All day at the office, Brian, Nigel and I were quoting Jeff's line about me, "at the corners of Houston and Broadway [saying], 'Jesus, we haven't talked in so long...we should really do lunch!'"

At the end of the day, as I was about to head to dinner with a few close friends, I got a Facebook message from Steve Pond at The Wrap. He asked me to call him for a story he was writing about my move. I picked up the phone and we chatted. He asked me to explain how this all came about and I agreed. As is often the case in journalism, some aspects of the timeline were condensed and a few details were dropped, but Steve got the story right. And, as I emphasized to him last night, I feel so good about this decision because I know that the combination of a decade of experience for both Brian and James, the resources and expertise of Ted, Rick and everyone at SnagFilms, as well as some new blood that will be brought into the mix, means that indieWIRE will flourish, building on the amazing successes of the past few years. UPDATE: Pond has more on the story today, chatting with our CEO, Rick Allen.

This morning at Variety, ahead of tonight's New York Film Festival opening, Gordon Cox added some context and insight about what I'll be doing at Lincoln Center. He chatted with Rose and Richard about the future of the Film Society and the Festival.

"Next year is really going to be a great year of reinvention for us," Richard Pena told Variety. "All of us have 100 ideas."

After I leave indieWIRE on November 28th, I'm keeping this blog in place to track some of my own movements, continue my connection to the indie community and maintain an editorial voice here at iW. This is not goodbye. More soon.

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