E! Online vet signs on; Hindes to biz site

Netcaster iFilm has tapped E! Online topper Lew Harris as senior veep, editor in chief of the company’s recently launched film portal, a move expected to quickly boost the site’s editorial content.

Harris, who begins his new role July 10, has served as editor in chief of E! Online for the past four years. He told E! Online’s nearly 100 staffers of his departure Thursday morning.

“I don’t want to create another E! Online,” Harris told Daily Variety of his plans for iFilm. “The purpose is to find a way to speak to filmmakers, the film industry and film enthusiasts with the same site and information.”

Harris replaces former Daily Variety staffer Andrew Hindes, who will now oversee the development of film business site iFilmpro.com as executive producer. Subsid has a staff of 40 to 50 employees.

Hindes will focus on product development for the venture; he’ll target for acquisition companies or technologies that would be important to film industryites as online tools.

“We’re looking at what we want to build and offer, or what kind of tools we want to build internally or acquire,” Hindes said. iFilmpro is in the middle of integrating acquired properties including the Hollywood Creative Director, Lone Eagle Publishing and ScriptShark.com.

Usage of iFilmpro has consistently grown at better than 20% per month, Hindes said. The company plans to target its online tools to the more ‘Net-savvy junior execs and assistants at production companies and agencies.

“Andrew has demonstrated a unique understanding of the Internet audience and what technology can bring to that audience,” said iFilm CEO Kevin Wendle.

Harris becomes the sixth former E! employee to join iFilm over the past year, joining Jim Hughes, Doug Sylvester and Wendle, who together helped launch E! Online four years ago.

Harris spent 20 years at Los Angeles magazine and worked at People mag as an exec editor before spending the past four years as editor of E! Online.

“The first two or three years were a tremendous rush,” Harris said. Saying E! Online has “reached its plateau,” he added, “It fascinates me now to once again be in this kind of position to start something from scratch.”

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