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IESB.net Editors Quit (Again) Among Discord at Fanboy Site

New IESB editors bolt after takeover deal crumbles, owner criticizes progress


The new editors and would-be owners of IESB.net have quit the pioneering fanboy movie blog just a few months after taking over, saying in a farewell post over the weekend that they were "not a good match" for the site founded by Robert Sanchez, who's currently living in Mexico to avoid a police inquiry into sexual abuse allegations.

The post announcing the departure of editors Jeff Girard, JR Harrison and Manuel Aybar appeared Saturday evening but was pulled down within an hour, presumably by Stephanie Sanchez, who remains the site's owner and sole employee.

In July, TheWrap reported from Comic-Con that IESB ("Inland Empire Strikes Back") was in the process of exchanging hands from Stephanie Sanchez to JR Harrison, a former movie reviewer for the site. Harrison told TheWrap at the time that the two were still working out details of the handover, which was supposed to end in a clean break from the Sanchez family.

But the deal was never completed, and tensions mounted until Stephanie Sanchez wrote an email to the editors, attacking them for the site's progress, a person close to the situation told TheWrap. That, apparently, was the last straw.

Such discord was only hinted at in the post from Saturday night, which read:

"Our original agreement with the founders was that our team would provide the resources and staffing needed to maintain an on-going internet presence in exchange for complete autonomy and the establishment of an on-going shared ownership and partnership … Unfortunately, this was not a good match and all parties involved have agreed to part ways."

As of Monday, IESB's bylines had all been changed to "IESB Staff."

Harrison declined to comment to TheWrap on Monday. Stephanie Sanchez has deflected multiple requests for comment since TheWrap broke the news in June that her husband, Robert Sanchez, was under investigation for allegations of abuse leveled by his stepdaughter.

The site's editors at the time resigned from IESB, indicating they were in the dark about the scandal and had been told there was a "family emergency" and had heard that he might have died.

Robert Sanchez has vehemently denied the abuse allegations in a blog post and subsequent phoneconversation with TheWrap last month, when he said that his stepdaughter was making up the story to cover for her own troubling and promiscuous behavior. He also told TheWrap that he was destitute, living in Mexico in part because it was cheaper to do so; and because he feared U.S. authorities would detain him on old, unrelated charges that were dogging him because of an accounting error in his record while they investigated his stepdaughter's allegations.