Eric E. Schmidt

Atavist, a multimedia storytelling platform which launched in January 2011, has received acclaim for its unique mix of longform journalism and an innovative content management system. In fact, the company has already received high-profile investment backing from the likes of Marc Andreessen and Google's Eric E. Schmidt. Co-founder, CEO and editor Evan Ratliff says: "We are this kind of hybrid outfit in that we're not solely focused on software or publishing. We are a media and a software company."

This media/software combo wasn't in the original plan. The initial goal was to be an innovator in the space called longform journalism, pieces of 5,000 to 30,000 words meant to be read in one sitting. "We started as an outfit that just wanted to do publishing, and a certain type of publishing: These short [pieces] between book and magazine [length]," says Ratliff — books that would be "multimedia" and "enhanced." "In order to that, we ended up developing our own publishing software to publish to multiple devices at the same time."

 Two powerful entertainment moguls, Scott Rudin, the film and theater producer, and Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, are joining together to enter the turbulent world of book publishing.

Mr. Rudin and Frances Coady, a longtime publishing executive, have formed a partnership with Mr. Diller in a new venture called Brightline. It will publish e-books and eventually physical books in a partnership with Atavist, a publisher based in Brooklyn with expertise in producing electronic books and articles.

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