Biblical Archaeology Review 37:2, March/April 2011

First Person: Not the Kindness of Strangers, but the Kindness of Friends

By Hershel Shanks

A recent article in The New York Times referred to The Atlantic magazine as “a tiny enterprise.” It only had $32 million in revenue last year. And that is tiny, as “compared with vast corporate magazine empires like Time Inc. and Condé Nast.”

But The Atlantic’s “tiny” revenue is ten times as large as BAR’s. In some respects, however, we can be compared to The Atlantic. Like The Atlantic, BAR enjoys a certain “intellectual cachet.” We are also like The Atlantic in another respect: “What it enjoyed in prestige it lacked in business success,” according to The New York Times article. For a decade The Atlantic lost money. In one year it lost $4.5 million. After that, the losses grew to $7 million.

Fortunately, in that respect, too, The Atlantic has surpassed us. Our losses have been far less—but still, they are losses. (NB: This year The Atlantic turned a profit—“from your mouth to God’s ears.”)

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