EXCLUSIVE: WME plans to tap into ideas and stories from 155-year-old The Atlantic magazine and digital properties like TheAtlanticWire to create opportunities across the film, television, and digital space. The Atlantic has a monthly audience of about 30 million across through its print, digital and live platforms. The mag that has published the likes of Updike, Twain and Hemingway continues to showcase writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, who won this year’s National Magazine Award for Best Essay for “Fear Of A Black President”; James Fallows; Jeffrey Goldberg; Molly Ball; Alexis Madrigal; and Derek Thompson among others. Several articles have already been optioned for TV or film treatment including Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (July/August 2012), Kate Bolick’s “All The Single Ladies” (November 2011), Hanna Rosin’s “The End Of Men” (July/Aug 2010), Lori Gottlieb’s “Marry Him!” (March 2008), and Don Peck’s “How A New Jobless Era Will Transform America” (March 2010).
Apparently so, according to writer Derek Thompson’s well researched and engagingly presented, but unfortunately misguided, article about pay TV pricing (“Prisoners of Cable“) in the latest issue of my favorite magazine, The Atlantic. He acknowledges that the seven largest Big Media companies — including News Corp, Viacom, Disney, and Time Warner — “use their oligopolistic power” to give cable and satellite customers a simple choice: either buy “a bloated offering of channels at an arrestingly high price” or go without. “Cable’s proposition to consumers is simple: if you want the new, good, TV shows, you need the bundle.” That’s unfair, right? Not to Thompson. The system that makes people pay for channels they don’t want also gives us classy fare including HBO’s Game Of Thrones and AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad. “Indeed,” Thompson says, “it’s no accident that as pay-TV has proliferated, and costs have risen, we’ve also entered a golden age of television.” And even though “as a monthly fee, cable feels like a rip-off…as hourly entertainment, it’s not.” The proof: The bundle only costs 20 cents an hour for the average four-person home that watches as much as four hours a day. The kicker: “more than 100 million households still think the price is worth paying.”