It’s been a few months now since former Variety staffer Dana Harris set up shop from a home office in Highland Park as editor-in-chief of indieWIRE. Just back from SXSW and one of her monthly sojourns at the Snag Films parented website’s New York headquarters, she took time to chat via telephone with FishbowlLA about what lies ahead for the rest of 2011.
On the heels of The Playlist and Ted Hope, Harris says the company will be announcing another addition to the indieWIRE blog network in April. In terms of evaluating potential partners who retain ownership of their blog and split advertising and other revenues, she says it’s not as simple as finding sites with a particular monthly traffic threshold.
“Blog network partners are programmed into a specific infrastructure,” Harris explains. “This represents a significant investment on our part, so it’s a real balancing act to find a partner like The Playlist that hits that sweet spot.”
Harris works from a home she shares with two dogs and husband Douglas Stewart, a reporter for BoozeNews.com and professional Hollywood tour guide. She says after the hustle and bustle of the Variety news room, she has been pleasantly surprised by how much she likes working from home.
“One of the dangers of course is that you can work too much,” she says. “But because I travel so much–I’m off next to Tribeca and Cannes–it’s great to be able to come back to the comforts of home. I think it’s also really important for indieWIRE to have this kind of presence in LA. At some point, we might well open a west coast office.”
Managing editor Brian Brooks handles day-to-day editorial out of New York while LA adjacent editor-at-large Anne Thompson helps Harris especially with matters relating to the blog network. But in terms of the big picture of indieWIRE editorial strategy and figuring out how to break it down into smart, tactical moves, it’s all Harris.