By Ken Auletta
A fight is taking place--not simply between company titans, yet between whole industries. At stake is regulate of the world's fastest-growing undefined: communications. The contestants are Hollywood studios, tv networks, and cable, mobile, machine, publishing, and consumer-electronics businesses. All are vying to gather a toll at the cyber web. And as they jockey for regulate, they tread on risky floor, as one fixation after one other (cable, interactive television) is dumped in desire of the subsequent (satellite, the Internet).
There is not any greater account of this turmoil than the single supplied the following via Ken Auletta, bestselling writer of Three Blind Mice ("the most sensible e-book ever written on community television"*) and Greed and Glory on Wall Street, who for 5 years has brilliantly tracked the communications for The New Yorker. Auletta's entry to the primary avid gamers is remarkable (six days with Rupert Murdoch, summit conferences with John Malone), and his snatch of the issues--from boardroom politics to regulatory and technological pressures--is unrivaled by way of the other journalist.
In this riveting selection of his most sensible items Auletta takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes journey of such businesses as Disney, Viacom, Microsoft, Time Warner, and Telecommunications, Inc., and keenly chronicles the vanities and visions of the hot Highwaymen--Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Michael Eisner, Sumner Redstone, invoice Gates, and extra. simply as Three Blind Mice used to be heralded as "the new bible of the broadcasting business," The Highwaymen may be got as an integral advisor to the way forward for this explosive new world.
* Frank Stanton, former president of CBS
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Extra resources for The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Superhighway
There doesn’t appear any explanation for it to exist except to surprise. the individual that inflicts the violence mostly is going unpunished, both without delay or through inference. ” He quickens so as to add that neither MTV nor Nickelodeon is “a eco-friendly greens network,” nor do they convey merely “goodie-goodie programming. ” He describes MTV’s screening mechanism, that's a miniature model of the broadcast-standards departments of the large 3 tv networks. Profanity and nudity aren't allowed on MTV or so much cable networks, he says. Do MTV’s broadcast criteria function through a few set formulation, or are subjective judgments made on a case-by-case foundation? “It’s a host of people who sit down there and stuff is available in and they’ll examine it. They’ll say, ‘This is questionable. this is often no. this can be advantageous. ’ And if it’s questionable they’ll often pass over it with the programming individual they usually have discussions. simply because it’s frequently discussions approximately grey concerns. … We did a video as soon as for Cher the place she used to be dancing round a few battleship in a slightly scanty outfit and we heard loud and transparent from our audience. We had hundreds callers who complained approximately it. It used to be improper for young ones, who occurred to be within the room although it wasn’t intended for kids. So essentially we wouldn’t air anything like that till ten P. M. or 11 P. M. ” What concerning the MTV video clips with younger ladies who simulate fellatio, or the dance companions who grind and squeeze each one other’s buttocks? “There’s an inference of sex,” says Freston. “You won’t see any real intercourse. ” as a minimum, he conscientiously provides, “We don’t make the video clips, so we don’t regulate what's in them. ” So he geese accountability? No, Freston says. “We grew to become down Madonna’s Justify My Love, simply because there has been nudity in it. We didn't run it. She ended up occurring Nightline, which i locate fairly attention-grabbing simply because [it] was once rated the top Nightline episode due to the fact they went at the air. greater than the Iranian hostage obstacle! ” Now that MTV is a model identify, and President Clinton has acknowledged it helped him get elected, does this strength make Freston imagine extra in regards to the nature of MTV’s accountability? “We give it some thought a lot,” he says. “We be aware of we have now a massive accountability. ” but Freston describes one other, occasionally contradictory, accountability, to his company. Rock and roll, “which is our type of significant currency,” he says, is “this rebellious artwork shape that’s anti-authority, anti-establishment. … you must be a little bit precise to the idea and soul of rock and roll being kind of now not an institution artwork shape. Does that suggest you need to be irresponsible? I don’t imagine so. i feel, truly, in case you take heed to most of the lyrics of the rock-and-roll tune, there are possibly extra prosocial messages buried of their lyrics approximately wish and love and transcendence than loads of different stuff that’s being placed out. ” As chairman and CEO for a dozen years of 1 of the world’s 5 biggest businesses, basic electrical, Jack Welch is a guy of ferocious power. Uncomfortable in a chair, he paces his workplace, delivering staccato replies to such a lot questions.