Why I Sold My Business

Written by Christopher Null on March 27th, 2009

I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of excitement, congratulations, and general attaboys that have come along with my recent announcement (if you can call it that) that I’ve sold my business, Filmcritic.com.

Some have asked why I did it, and I’d like to answer that in brief here.

One friend suggested I was “selling off my baby,” but my response was that, at 14 1/2 years old, Filmcritic was no longer a baby but rather a rebellious and unruly teenager. I’d taken the site about as far as I could, from a traffic and business perspective, and either it was destined to keep rumbling along exactly as it was for the foreseeable future… or someone else would need to take it to the next step.

The site has a vast archive of reviews and continues to generate plenty of traffic, but there are features I’d love to add — users’ ability to rate movies, “if you liked this you’ll also enjoy…” features, social networking site integration, etc. Unfortunately I’m not the guy to build those kind of features. Hire someone to do it? Sure, a possibility, but an expensive one. Filmcritic has been profitable for years, but not to the point where I was ready to shell out tens of thousands on developers, additional hardware, more bandwidth, and so on. I knew that to take the next step, as they say, I was going to need backers of some sort.

AMC approached me last fall — totally out of the blue — and we got to talking. I thought nothing would come of it (we’ve received absurdly low buyout offers in the past), but things kept moving, much to my surprise. I met with the team at AMC (and parent company Rainbow Media) in New York and got along well with everyone, appreciating their attitude toward the media business and impressed that they wanted to get more into online and in a big way.

And of course, they want to keep Filmcritic.com doing what it does best: Offering informative and entertaining movie reviews of both new releases and classic titles. (I will continue to work with the company — my new title is “Director.”)

It’s a very exciting — and crushingly busy — time for me and for the site, as we get things switched over to AMC’s services. We even have a new logo, at least a temporary one, before we add AMC to the name officially.

So that’s the gist. I’m really excited to be part of the AMC team, but rest assured: The biting, insightful, almost impossibly well-written movie reviews will continue just as you’ve known them for all these years. Wins for everyone, I think!

Feel free to drop me a line (contact info at right) with any questions or comments!

 

Leave a Comment