I've been following Alan Sepinwall for the past 15 years. Literally.
When I arrived at the University of Pennsylvania, he was the managing editor at 34th Street Magazine, the arts & entertainment rag at the college newspaper. He graduated, but continued to encourage me and I eventually became 34th Street managing editor myself.
For my first summer internship, I was a nearly inept fact-checker at the now-defunct P.O.V. Magazine, the first college intern they'd had since Alan Sepinwall.
Alan didn't get me my job at Zap2it, but he certainly made sure that the editor there scooped my resume and clips out of the garbage after I ignored a couple basic application requirements. Because of that gig, I was able tag along behind Alan into the Television Critics Association.
Perhaps all of that following is why I'm so pleased, excited and, darnit, honored to welcome Alan Sepinwall to the HitFix family. Since Sepinwall is so prone to mocking my anglophilia, I should probably say that I'm right chuffed.
[More puffery after the break...]
At HitFix, we like to think that we've assembled a team of some of the most distinctive and informed voices currently writing about television, movies and music. Adding Alan to Gregory Ellwood, Drew McWeeny, Melinda Newman and Katie Hasty should help take HitFix to that next level as a destination for news, reviews, analysis and insight.
If you somehow don't know Sepinwall's background, here's what we said in our press release this morning:
"One of the nation's most opinionated and influential critics, Sepinwall is know as a dogged supporter of quality television, proving to be a fierce advocate for shows including "Lost," "The Shield," "Breaking Bad" and "The Wire." Last spring, NBC executives went so far as to credit Sepinwall by name for his role in earning a renewal for "Chuck." Sepinwall's ties with the creative community have led to exclusive and exhaustive interviews with many of the industry's most respected showrunners, including David Simon, Matthew Weiner, Josh Schwartz and Vince Gilligan. When "The Sopranos" ended in 2007, creator David Chase granted only one interview and that was to Sepinwall.
In addition to his writing and blogging, Sepinwall found the time to write "Stop Being a Hater and Learn to Love The O.C.," the seminal chronicle of the first season of FOX's popular soap."
Leaving aside my respect for Sepinwall's criticism and his access to some of the industry's most esteemed creative talents, I'm almost equally excited to be welcoming the community that Alan has developed over the years at What's Alan Watching. It's one thing to accumulate a volume of traffic, but over the years, Sepinwall has cultivated what I consider to one of the Internet's smartest and most engaged fanbases. To read the comments on Alan's posts is to pour through the collected thoughts of the medium's most passionate and inquisitive viewers. We look forward to adding those conversations to the already thriving chatter on the site, as HitFix works to continue to develop one of the Internet's best communities of entertainment obsessives.
The whole HitFix family and I, we're feeling pretty good about our announcement today and not just because Sepinwall followed *me* somewhere.
Anyway, join me in welcoming Alan Sepinwall to HitFix!