ICM Partners Signs Politico (Exclusive)

Patrick Steele and Chris Silbermann - Split-Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Politico; ICM Partners

The agency will help surface potential television and film extensions of the brand's journalism.

The archives of newspaper and magazine companies can often yield a treasure trove of interesting ideas for high-grossing books, movies and television shows.

Now Politico, which has been riding the wave of intense interest in the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, has signed on as a client of ICM Partners, which will work with the Virginia-based publication on dreaming up possible extensions and extending Politico's reach out west.

Politico has previously partnered with ICM on the publication's Women Rule initiative, which encompasses live events, podcasts and newsletters. The agency helped book speakers for a Women Rule summit in December, which included ICM founding partner Chris Silbermann, and helped put on an event in California.

"We feel very culturally aligned with them," said Silbermann, who described Politico's staff as a "very impressive group of people." (Disclaimer: This reporter worked for Politico in New York from 2014 to 2015.)

Politico CEO Patrick Steel said the partnership "is an opportunity to be a little more thoughtful and methodical" about how the news organization evaluates incoming interest and proposes projects that stem from the work of the publication's more than 300 journalists.

"I just think there are lots of opportunities for us to take our storytelling capability to a variety of other platforms," Steel told The Hollywood Reporter.

Steel said he'd "love it" if a movie or television show resulted from his publication's partnership with ICM, though he said there's a long way to go. "ICM has a lot of work to do on their side," he said.

"We're trying to find good stories and good narratives and interesting people, interesting situations, interesting journeys that we can do things with," said Silbermann. He said that it's a challenging process that has to be done right. "It's got to be something that speaks straight to the brand and what they stand for," he said.

Hannah Linkenhoker, who serves as senior political strategist for ICM, floated the possibility of a Politico news show. She also said that ICM can help Politico, a Beltway powerhouse, gain traction out West. "We've had an organic and very collaborative relationship," she said.

Last week, The New York Times unveiled a partnership with Anonymous Content, which replaces Storied Media Group as the newspaper's representative on intellectual property extensions.

Steel, who has run Politico for only nine months, said the publication achieved record revenue in 2017 — including a nearly 25 percent uptick in Politico Pro subscription revenue. "We're seeing very significant momentum," he said.