R.I.P. AfterElton. And What the Hell is “The Backlot”?

You may be wondering why there’s a bright blue box and new graphics on the AfterElton homepage called TheBacklot. Glad you asked! We wanted to introduce you to the phrase and premise because come April, 2013 AfterElton.com will be changing its name.

That’s right, TheBacklot is what comes after AfterElton.

Oh, I know, it seems like the end of an era. But honestly, the name “AfterElton” never quite worked as well as our sister site’s moniker. AfterEllen was so named to commemorate that watershed moment when Ellen DeGeneres and her TV character came out on national television.

AfterElton was chosen mostly because it sounded similar.

We aren’t really AfterEllen’s little brother site any more. Our readership has expanded dramatically since we launched in 2005, our content mix has evolved. And frankly, we got tired of having to explain to people what “AfterElton” meant.

No knock on Elton John, we love the guy – it’s just that our site never had anything to do with that music legend or any watershed cultural moment that sprang from his storied career. (And it even got a little awkward that time he played Rush Limbaugh‘s wedding!)

Truth is, we’ve been tossing around possible new site names for over a year now. AfterAfter? FopCulture? Or Louis’ suggestion, BeforeLautner.

Kidding!

In the end we settled on TheBacklot.com. It’s easy to remember, indicates our focus on Hollywood and the film and television industry, and we think it has a great ring to it.

To go along with our new name we’re also going to launch a completely redesigned site. Right now the whole thing sits on a content management system called Drupal. In April we’re moving everything over to WordPress. This will put us on the same platform as most of Viacom Media Networks‘ websites and will make it possible for us to borrow cool site features from our colleagues at MTV.com, LogoTV.com and the like.

Our new website design will also be “responsive”– a popular buzzword these days. Meaning it will adjust and optimize the display no matter how you come to us (PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.)

We’re bracing for some technical bumps along the way, that’s inevitable, but we’re also really excited about the redesign and the opportunities it will offer. And we think you’re going to like the new look! More details as we get closer to the April re-launch.

Now, some of you may be asking: “Will TheBacklot still be a ‘gay’ site?”

Rest assured, the name change and site redesign won’t mean the end of what you know and love (and yes, possibly sometimes hate) about AfterElton. Our DNA stays the same, gay as it ever was. We are thrilled with our brilliant stable of contributors and quite pleased with our current content mix. The Backlot will still feature Ed Kennedy‘s Morning Meme, Brian Juergens‘ incisive film reviews and TV recaps, snicks’ Daily Briefs and Days of Our Lives liveblogs, Jim Halterman‘s exclusive interviews with hot Hollywood talent, and Louis Virtels witty pop culture commentary and wicked weekly Weeklings! rantings. Plus, all the other great writers and features you visit us for…

Glee and Teen Wolf recaps from Heather Hogan
Langford on Soaps
The Shipping News
Lyle Masaki’s TV on Tap
Best. Movie. Ever.
Our Annual Hot 100

…and much much more!

Change is never easy, but the whole gang here at AfterElton is excited and ready to take the leap. We hope our regular readers take it with us!

 Sincerely,

 

Dennis Ayers, Editor
AfterElton/TheBacklot

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