The Highwaymen

Ken Auletta, Author Random House (NY) $4.99 (346p) ISBN 978-0-679-45738-1
In his new book, Auletta (Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way) collects 16 of his New Yorker articles published since 1993, adding afterwards and updates where necessary and even restoring paragraphs pruned by the magazine editors. (Most of the piece on William Bennett's battle with Time Warner over rap music, for example, did not appear in the original version.) In general, the theme binding the pieces is the new booms in the electronic communications business, and in particular, the figures--usually colorful--who have dominated, however fleetingly, its rapid growth. Included are Barry Diller, who dabbled profitably in a cable shopping network, Ted Tuner of CNN, John Malone of TCI, Rupert Murdoch (who came to regret taping ""fifteen or so hours"" of interviews with Auletta and giving him almost complete access for a week--more exposure, Auletta notes, than Murdoch had ever allowed before), Herbert Allen, master arranger of mega-mergers and Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg together (briefly) at Disney. There's also a corporate history of Viacom, a look at the move into show business by the new generation at Seagram's, and a discussion of the ""synergistic"" superhighway's distrust--and fear--of traditional journalism, the craft Auletta practices so skillfully. For those who haven't kept abreast of what's been happening in the big-bucks communications world over the past half-decade, here's an ideal way to catch up. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 254 pages - 978-0-307-79985-2
Hardcover - 978-0-517-45485-5
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-15-600573-9
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