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Eugene Hernandez: This Is Not Goodbye

Eugene Hernandez: This Is Not Goodbye

Change is coming. And it will make two fixtures of the film community stronger.

The headline is that after 15 years I’ll be leaving my role as Editor-in-Chief at indieWIRE next month while maintaining a link to the company I co-founded. I’m excited to announce today that on November 1st I’ll join the Film Society of Lincoln Center as Director of Digital Strategy.

I certainly wasn’t looking for a job when the Film Society reached out to me. Executive Director Rose Kuo recently offered me a newly created position focused on bringing the forty-eight year old organization into the digital age and I faced a difficult decision. The Film Society of Lincoln Center is one of the most important film organizations in the world and I’m truly honored to be joining them. I carefully considered the offer and sincerely feel it is an opportunity I simply cannot pass up. And in many ways, the timing is perfect for an indieWIRE that is much larger, more vibrant and significantly stronger than ever, backed by a parent company (SnagFilms) that will continue to nurture the next phase of its growth.

indieWIRE will be in very good hands.

Back in 1995, the original concepts for indieWIRE were sketched out in a notebook after a Film Society program at the Walter Reade Theater. From the moment I moved to NYC a year earlier, the Film Society and the Walter Reade were a constant home away from home. Now, as the organization prepares to open two new movie theaters at Lincoln Center and rapidly approaches its 50th anniversary, I’m thrilled to be part of the team to help Rose and the board chart its exciting future.

The hardest part of this change will be leaving my close friends and colleagues at indieWIRE and SnagFilms. It’s been an absolutely incredible experience, particularly over the past two years as we’ve re-imagined indieWIRE with the support of everyone at Snag and expanded our group to include some of the best in the business.

This year, in particular, has already been incredible for indieWIRE. The launch of our new Filmmaker Toolkit, the growth of criticWIRE, deeper film festival coverage and, of course, the dramatic expansion of the indieWIRE Blog Network (watch this space for more exciting news on that front, soon) have laid the foundation for even more exciting developments to come. On top of it all, our traffic is many times what it was just two years ago when we were acquired, and ad revenue has grown more than commensurately. We’ve been working all summer to enhance our site and we’re looking forward to sharing a new homepage soon. In short, a company that spent much of its history scrambling to stay on its feet is now a thriving key component of the indie film community.

Companies can reach a new level of growth after a founder decides to move on. I have no doubt that will be the case at indieWIRE and I’m looking forward to working with the team to pinpoint new leadership, develop a new structure, and then pass the baton.

Personally speaking, I’m ready for a change and honored to be joining the Film Society at such an important moment. Despite the move uptown, however, I’ll stay in the indieWIRE family and am glad that my blog will remain part of the indieWIRE Network.

I’ve experienced a truly nurturing environment at this company and grateful to everyone at indieWIRE and SnagFilms for their understanding and support. The past ten years at indieWIRE I’ve worked closely with Brian Brooks and James Israel, it’s been a terrific experience and I know they’ll champion indieWIRE with the backing of Ted Leonsis, Rick Allen, Stephanie Sharis and everyone at the company. A special thanks also to the team at GMD Studios and all the indieWIRE co-founders from back in the day. More on all that as I head into my final days at indieWIRE at the end of next month.

I won’t really be saying goodbye. There’s still a lot to do at indieWIRE over the next few weeks during the transition and even then, I’ll be cheering loudly from the sidelines.


Eugene Hernandez is the Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder of indieWIRE and can be followed on Twitter: @eug or through his indieWIRE blog.

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