Exit Interview

David Westin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Sarah Crichton, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-15121-8
Like any good journalist, Westin delivers his feature story with finesse, urgency, and a suggestion of larger themes. Yet Westin, as he often reminds us in this compelling hybrid memoir and business guide, is not a journalist, but a lawyer turned corporate manager who joined ABC News in 1997 just in time for a princess’s death, an infamous blue dress, and a terrorist attack. In this behind-the-scenes account, Westin (president of ABC News until 2010) describes himself as a flat-footed bureaucrat faced with an art-meets-business situation: the need to balance news versus entertainment; the safety of journalists versus getting the story; and getting the story first versus getting it right. Along the way, he addresses issues of bias, patriotism, and national security, as well as how leaders make tough decisions in difficult times. In the final chapters, Westin rationalizes a restructuring at the end of his tenure, as ABC News faced increased competition and the digital transformation of media consumption, and offers a timely discussion about the future of the media industry itself. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 05/22/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-374-53391-5
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4668-1556-8
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