First-Time Entrepreneurs Secure Nearly $1 Million in Angel Funding for HitFix

Unique New Entertainment Website Beats January Traffic Projections and Odds in Tough Business Climate

LOS ANGELES, April 1, 2009– HitFix ( has secured $950,000 in first-round financing from an established angel group and private investors, and is exceeding both traffic projections and revenue targets, despite the difficult economy.

A unique entertainment destination, HitFix delivers breaking news, industry analysis and local events calendaring on film, television, music and sports. The executive management team is led by Jennifer Wilhelmi Sargent (former Reed Business Information and DoubleClick executive) and Gregory Ellwood (former MSN Movies columnist, Los Angeles Times consulting editor and Variety editorial consultant).

Sargent and Ellwood identified a clear need in the entertainment news space with both the consumer fan base and advertisers seeking to reach 18- to 34-year-olds. “HitFix fills a real gap between the industry trades and gossip sites, in rich insider content augmented by the experience of our editorial team,” Sargent said.

HitFix recruited a trio of experts and opinion makers in their respective fields: Drew McWeeny, formerly of Ain’t It Cool News; Dan Fienberg, who spent six years chronicling “American Idol” on Zap2it; and music journalist Melinda Newman, formerly of Billboard.

In April, HitFix will also launch another differentiator, the local version of its proprietary Forecast application, an autopopulated, customizable seven- to 30-day outlook on entertainment events around the nation. “The Forecast helps our users not only discover upcoming events, but create their own calendars – downloadable to Yahoo!, Outlook, iPhone, iCal, Google – based on individual tastes and ZIP codes,” Ellwood added.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there,” Sargent noted, “but we’re confident we have the right experience and team in place to make HitFix a success.”

Private investors – including New York-based Golden Seeds, an angel fund focused on female entrepreneurs – agree. “The future of online advertising is driven by targeted audiences,” Tish Richardson of Golden Seeds said. “HitFix exploits this trend with its breakthrough Forecast application and breaking insider news that appeal to the highly sought-after 18- to 34-year-old demographic, a demographic that spends most of its time online. We look forward to being a part of the team that guides how entertainment fans discover news and events.”

The HitFix revenue model is based on online advertising sales and lead generation, with affiliates including Fandango, StubHub and Amazon.

HitFix plans to aggressively expand its Forecast application into mobile and widget platforms during 2009.

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