One of the country's oldest and most established media companies is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio than a traditional newspaper.
Driving the news: The New York Times has 10 scripted TV show projects in development, as well as 3 feature documentaries coming out this year and several other documentary projects in development and production, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: The company has been relatively quiet about how seriously it has taken its TV ambitions over the past year, in part so that it doesn't set itself up for too much scrutiny in experimentation mode, sources tell Axios.
Details: The Times recently announced a slew of new projects that are being green-lit for air, including:
- “Father Soldier Son,” The Times' first feature documentary on Netflix, will premiere this Friday, July 17.
- “The Jungle Prince of Delhi,” by Ellen Barry, will be adapted into a limited series for Amazon Studios.
- "The 1619 Project" will be expanded into a variety of film and television projects in a partnership with Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey.
- "The New York Times Presents,” formerly called "The Weekly," began its new season last week on Hulu and FX.
Catch up quick: The Times first got its start in TV when it adapted its "36 Hours" travel column into a show for the Travel Channel back when most digital publishers weren't yet licensing many shows for streaming companies.
- It beefed up its TV ambitions a year ago when it launched "The Weekly" on Hulu, in conjunction with FX.
- This year, it premiered its first two feature-length documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival and expanded its team to produce more content in-house.
- "We are not just passively licensing our IP (intellectual property). We do do a piece of optioning and licensing but we also produce more projects," says Caitlin Roper, editorial director of The New York Times Magazine Labs.
Audio paved the way for The Times to get its talent on board. "Five years ago, people didn't know what to make of being asked to be on a podcast," says Borenstein.
- "Now thats it's successful, when Caitlin asks reporters to be on a show, they understand the power of bringing The Times' journalism to new mediums."
The big picture: "Digital publishers have emerged as valuable goldmines of IP to be pursued for TV at scale," says Chris Jacquemin, Head of Digital Content at WME, an agency within Endeavor.
- Jacquemin and his team at WME have signed at least 30 digital publishing clients over the past year to work with on TV deals, including ATTN:, Tastemade, Refinery29, Vox Media, and The Athletic.
Be smart: Agencies often help publishers skip development deals and go straight to production deals, saving publishers time and money.
- The Times was previously represented by WME and is now represented by Anonymous Content for its TV and licensing deals.
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