Author: Wolff, Michael
Details: From Booklist The source of this book is the column Wolff writes for New York magazine called "This Media Life." As a media journalist, he finds himself in the strange position of analyzing his own business, and the acerbic jabs he hurls at media kings such as Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, and Rupert Murdoch have probably not made him many friends at the top. The empire, according to Wolff, is crumbling before our very eyes. The AOL Time-Warner merger, the biggest deal in history to go south, allowed one of the largest and most respected news organizations to be gobbled up by an Internet upstart at the height of the bubble. The record industry is dying, and would have done so 20 years ago if CDs had not come along to revive it. The failed attempts to thwart online file sharing are merely the last gasp of a group who, by many accounts, is a bunch of thugs anyway. And then there's the sacrificial burning of Martha Stewart. A thoroughly enjoyable slap in the face to media culture. David SiegfriedCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved Product Description A humorous and critical portrait of the media industry profiles its top personalities and makes predictions about its imminent economic collapse, presenting first-person accounts about the industry's more ludicrous business dealings. From Publishers Weekly Michael Wolff. Harper Business, $25 (272p) ISBN 0-06-662113-5When the Internet boom began, Wolff set out to make a fortune and wound up with a bestselling memoir chronicling his failure (Burn Rate). Successfully reinventing himself as an industry pundit, most notably for New York magazine, he's reached the point where, as he boasts here, "[I]f there was a media party, I'd be invited to it." (He can even produce a guest list as proof.) This book centers on one such party: an industry conference where he's enlisted to interview Rupert Murdoch. Onto this foundation he piles digression after digression until he has offered up a catty remark about just about every major player in the media biz. Thus "gray and corpulent" Fox News head Roger Ailes is "one of the great creepy figures of the age," and even Walter Isaacson, acknowledged as the "fantasy life" figure for journalists of the author's generation, is eventually skewered as "the most self-important person in [his] class at Harvard." All this heel-nipping serves as anecdotal support for Wolff's contention that the industry is a chain of con games in which the last domino is about to fall and Wolff is the only one brave enough to say so. Eventually, every topic returns to the subject of the author as industry outsider, with other people existing so that he might have opinions of them. A thin veneer of self-effacement does nothing to blunt the tremendous display of ego slathered over this superficial analysis.Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. Review Delightful ... media moguls, [Wolff] makes clear, fall into one of two categories: 'good...and bad lousy-deal-makers.' -- Randall Rothenberg, Ad AgeWolff takes on the media world, and does a splendid job of it...a great read. -- Rocky Mountain News[Media] savvy has, at last, found its one true and perfect voice. -- Stephen Metcalf, New York Observer[Wolff is] the Lester Bangs of media culture. -- Rob Walker, New York Times Book Review About the Author Michael Wolff is a National Magazine Award winner and two-time nominee. His weekly column in New York magazine, "This Media Life," is one of the most influential commentaries about the media industry. He is the author of the best-selling Burn Rate and of the books White Kids and Where We Stand, which became a multipart PBS series. He is a frequent guest commentator on a wide range of national television news shows. His work also appears regularly in the Guardian newspaper in London. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
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