According to Deadline.com, the talent and literary agency William Morris Endeavor has inked a deal with The Atlantic to source the publication and its digital destination for film and TV opportunities. The magazine which is known for its incisive commentary on all things bubbling in the zeitgeist was home to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s instantly viral “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ National Magazine Award-winning Essay “Fear Of A Black President”, while WME’s client roster includes filmmaker Tim Burton and comedienne/author Amy Sedaris among others.
“The Atlantic has a monthly audience of about 30 million across through its print, digital and live platforms,” Deadline notes, and the WME deal could potentially expand the reach of the pub’s writers. My hope is the deal will also be a financial coup for the writers.
Deadline does not go into the terms of the deal, but does mention it reflects a trend.
“It’s the latest move for a Hollywood player to seize on journalism as source material. Among recent such deals is 20th Century’s Fox’s two-year first-look pact with Epic, a fledgling online platform designed to be a catalyst for film-centric investigative longform journalism.”
Back in January magazine publishing group Conde Nast issued a new contract to its writers claiming a cut of profits received when an author’s article is adapted for television or film, to the consternation of some writers. One scribe criticized the contract to the New York Times saying, “The people who really get the big options are not going to sign, and the people who don’t get the big options are going to be railroaded…”