A Year Later...
In our cover story this week, Dick Parsons lays out his vision for the world's largest media and entertainment empire. The Time Warner Chairman and CEO's insightful interview, with B&C's John Higgins, is all about vision and calm, even with corporate raiders and competitors seemingly wanting to storm the gates. Our talk with Parsons is one of many fascinating conversations with this industry's titans that B&C has presented in the past year—exclusive chats with Oprah Winfrey and John Malone leap to mind. How fitting, then, that this week Dick Parsons is being inducted into the B&C Hall of Fame, where he joins Winfrey and Malone and dozens of other storied honorees from past years.
Nine other illustrious individuals accompany him into this year's Hall. A special edition of B&C published this week profiles all the honorees: NBC Sports impresario Dick Ebersol; prime time icon William Shatner; Disney/ABC queen Anne Sweeney, radio/TV host extraordinaire Tom Joyner; E.W. Scripps' bold leader Ken Lowe; station-biz king Dennis Swanson; Univision legend Cristina Saralegui; cable visionary Michael Willner; Sony Pictures Television mastermind Steve Mosko; and, of course, Mr. Parsons. Read cover to cover, this special issue provides a modern history of our industry and a hint at its future.
On the eve of the Hall of Fame gala last fall, I wrote in my inaugural column about the new logo and design introduced with that issue. Then, nine months after taking the B&C reins, I made a commitment “to bring you the definitive word on the most dynamic industry in America every week.”
Being totally objective, I believe the fine team we've assembled here has made good on that promise.
It has been a year chock-a-block with B&C exclusives and analysis, including the first word that CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves was courting Katie Couric to anchor the CBS Evening News; the saga of how New Orleans' WWL continued to report throughout Hurricane Katrina and the storm's terrible aftermath; and virtuoso TV producer John Wells' prescription to reenergize prime time. We've been all over the industry's technology revolution, reporting and analyzing developments in everything from high-definition to file-sharing to TV-to-go.
We're constantly following the money on Madison Avenue, whether being the first to forecast the upfront market or explain why $2.3 million for a Super Bowl commercial is actually a bargain. We've written first about deals in the making, from Harvey and Bob Weinstein's negotiations to buy a cable network, to talks between Comcast and MTV about developing digital channels. And we've been an early-warning system for every bit of regulatory and legislative movement in Washington.
In this week's B&C alone, there's news and analysis focusing on virtually every important aspect of our industry. There's an exclusive first look at the bright HD future at Good Morning America, as well as news about who might be the new anchor at World News Tonight. We look at how Sony, the last surviving major independent studio, still manages to thrive. Elsewhere, we examine a host of cable networks that are up for sale—including Hallmark Channel and Court TV—and how much they're likely to fetch. We're also the first to tell you why yet another courtroom show, Judge Alex, is leading the freshman syndicated class and how former teen idol Shaun Cassidy is working overtime to make Invasion, the show he created for ABC, into a hit.
And perhaps most important of all, this week's editorial urges more protection for our brethren, journalists reporting in war zones. That message reflects a commitment that we made to you a year ago and that we recommit to on a weekly basis: to honor the legacy of this publication's late founder, Sol Taishoff, who referred to it as “the newsmagazine of the Fifth Estate.”
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