What is meadted many ask? Well it’s many things from the rise to the fall of CNN, to the full distinctive tale of how it changed the world is discussed! “CNN is my invention,” claims Schonfeld at the beginning of this entertaining book,the vindictive precious moment of launching the earth’s very first 24-hour news network with mass media mogul Ted Turner in 1979. A longtime TV and print journalist, Schonfeld was chief executive for several years till he was terminated by Turner following a collide of egos and mainly overlooked within CNN’s institutional recollection. This book is his chance to set the record right, tell some terrific stories and (most famously) settle a couple of old scores. Schonfeld preserves that since it hit the airwaves on June 1, 1980, CNN was mainly his development: he invented its innovative “fluid news” fashion and constructed the original staff (usually by raiding other networks: “Will the final one leaving for CNN turn out the lights?” became the mantra at CBS). With simply a small budget, Schonfeld used innovative techniques to scoop the competition–for case in point, smuggling tape away from Solidarity-era Poland bandaged all around a cameraman’s legs. Also, he managed to make it lucky with skilled unknowns like Katie Couric, Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw (although Schonfeld also followed big guns like Orson Welles, who he desired as cohost for Crossfire). On top of that, Schonfeld says, Turner made performances mainly in order to raise hell and stir up the troops. CNN was moving strong up to the instant when Turner fired him; soon after, Schonfeld maintains, it lost the brash, upstart strategy that guaranteed its early ratings, and it also converted into yet another network. Sour grapes? Possibly. One side of the tale? Undoubtedly. However it is engrossed in an incredible bundle and full of humor, information and dish on everybody from Turner down. (Feb. 6)Forecast: Certain to be among probably the most debatable, and talked-about, media books of the season, Schonfeld’s bold tell-all ought to enticed major media once it was released!
And you can find it here cheap on Amazon.
The story behind the founding of CNN is an engaging page turner written by the man who conceived it, but is never really given credit by the “official” history. Reese Schonfeld, a veteran in the news service for almost 25 years before CNN, gives a detailed account about what led him in the direction of a 24-hour television news channel and how it came to be that he joined with Ted Turner to found CNN. Schonfeld goes through the pains and joys of creating an entire news service from nothing that stretched all over the world then experience the ups and downs of first 2 1/2 years of operations before being fired and watching his dream steadily decline.
Part biography and part first-hand account of how a medium reshaped society, Me and Ted Against the World could have descended into a bitter rant but Schonfeld gives a balanced account not only of others (most notably Ted Turner) but himself as well (several times admitting where he erred when heading CNN). Although the book was published before the fallout of the AOL-Time Warner merger was known, Schonfeld’s thoughts on what the merger could do the channel were interesting and pretty good. Overall the book is must read for journalism students and those interested in the evolution of medium of television.