A spirited, fascinating insider's account of a troubled realm.

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THE DEAL FROM HELL

HOW MOGULS AND WALL STREET PLUNDERED GREAT AMERICAN NEWPAPERS

An examination of failing American newspapers from a unique perspective.

Journalist O'Shea (Dangerous Company: The Consulting Powerhouses and the Businesses They Save and Ruin, 2002, etc.) rose from investigative reporter to managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and then editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times. Three years ago, the author departed the Times under attack from a management team that cared more about executive bonuses and corporate profits than quality journalism. Numerous books have covered endangered daily newspapers, but few relate the sad saga from the perspective of a top editor with investigative reporting experience. O'Shea identifies factors in the overall economy and in the cultures of publicly held companies that have contributed to the declines of newspapers. Refreshingly, though, he also names names, identifying the villains in the corporate suites and the newsrooms themselves, with an overarching emphasis on what happened to diminish the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, once proudly independent newspapers. When Chicago-based businessman Sam Zell, without experience as a media mogul, purchased the newspaper company—as well as a package of assets that included the Chicago Cubs and urban real estate—any hope of vital journalism disappeared. Given O'Shea's level of detail and candor, some journalism icons will almost surely lose respect within their field. As for the individuals in the corporate suites of his two former employers, the financially irresponsible, sexually immoral and perhaps illegal conduct of those men (no women appear as villains in the narrative) should embarrass them to no end. Because O'Shea is an accomplished reporter, he does not make the mistake of slinging around accusations without detailed evidence, but at times, he seems to be settling scores, which might diminish his stature in the minds of some readers.

A spirited, fascinating insider's account of a troubled realm.

Pub Date: June 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58648-791-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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