It’s not “official,” but I’m hearing that In Contention‘s Kris Tapley has been nudged out of the Variety blog lineup for the coming Oscar Season. Tapley’s Red Carpet District blog for Variety was a seasonal that launched early last fall and ended six months ago, but Variety isn’t asking him to return. I wrote Variety‘s Dana Harris this morning to check but no reply so far.

Tapley hasn’t been eighty-sixed due to dissatisfaction with his work. RCD was a very sharp and comprehensive daily read for many of us, and I’m not unmindful of the fact that Tapley linked to Hollywood Elsewhere all the time. The issue, as one source puts it, is that Variety has “too many blogs” (Anne Thompson‘s, Michael Jones‘ “The Circuit,” Pamela McLintock‘s box-office blog, etc.) and the bloggy ad dollars can only cover so much ground.
One could interpret the phrase “too many blogs” as another way of saying that “Peter Bart‘s blog is now part of the mix and somebody had to go to make room,” but that’s just a personal view or suspicion. Bart has so far been an occasional poster at best, and almost certainly won’t be delivering half the extensive Oscar season coverage (legwork, updates, exclusives) that Tapley generated during the last go-around. But of course Thompson does a humungous amount of Oscar- season reporting and pulse-readings so it’s not like Tapley was the only one humping it.
This basically means the situation is back to square one as it was during the ’06 and ’07 season, when In Contention was a basic and necessary read along with the other six or seven Oscar-season blogs.