So as of Tuesday, 9.20, In Contention‘s Kris Tapley will be folded into Hitfix and banging out his stuff (along with Guy Lodge). So where are the “Tapley Is Coming!” come-ons, or the easy-to-spot In Contention bullet logo? Right now the Hitfix main page (which emphasizes an undigestive orange-and-blue color scheme) has the usual links to the usual cheezwhiz stories and promotions…and zip about Tapley. Can you imagine adding a big-name columnist to your site and actually keeping this news hidden from casual visitors?

Presumably the In Contention link will appear alongside Drew McWeeny‘s Motion Captured and Greg Ellwood‘s Awards Campaign within the MOVIES drop-down menu. What kind of entertainment site puts its star columnists — i.e., writers who attract readers with an I.Q. north of 85, especially among industry and media types — inside a closet that you need to access with a drop-down menu?

If I was suddenly hired to run Hitfix, the man/woman who designed this site would be fired and out the door so fast that a wind-and-suction effect would scatter loose paper.

I’ve always hated the Hitfix design. It’s indecisively busy and scattered and inelegant. And that godawful orange! One look and you want to leave. It makes you feel as if you’ve walked into a store in Syracuse that sells used hockey outfits and other sporting uniforms. Tapley’s impending arrival has simply reminded me of this.