The House That Roone Built: The Inside Story of ABC News

Marc Gunther, Author
Marc Gunther, Author Little Brown and Company $23.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-316-33151-7
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As head of ABC Sports, Roone Arledge created successful spectacles like Wide World of Sports and Monday Night Football. When he became president of ABC News in 1977, he used the same formula to revive the moribund division by giving tabloid treatment to coverage of Elvis's death and the Sadat-Begin peace accords. Arledge was also concerned that his on-air personalities lacked panache. Brilliant, rude and egotistical, Arledge, in his quest to make ABC News No. 1, was profligate with money. If he failed to woo Dan Rather from CBS, he successfully seduced Diane Sawyer and David Brinkley. And he was also lucky: two of his reporters whom he didn't consider top flight talent eventually became stars--Ted Koppel and Charlie Gibson. Gunther, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press , shows how events and personalities helped shape such shows as Nightline , 20/20 , World News Tonight , This Week with David Brinkley and Prime Time Live . He goes on to detail ABC's takeover by Capital Cities and Arledge's subsequent loss of power. Gunther captures the intensity, insanity and creativity of ABC News--the house of dueling egos--and in the process produces a treat for news junkies. (Mar.)
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