Synopses & Reviews
In 2000, after the Tribune Company acquired Times Mirror Corporation, it comprised the most powerful collection of newspapers in the world. How then did Tribune nosedive into bankruptcy and public scandal? In The Deal From Hell
, veteran Tribune
and Los Angeles Times
editor James O'Shea takes us behind the scenes of the decisions that led to disaster in boardrooms and newsrooms from coast to coast, based on access to key players, court testimony, and sworn depositions.
The Deal From Hell is a riveting narrative that chronicles how news industry executives and editors--convinced they were acting in the best interests of their publications--made a series of flawed decisions that endangered journalistic credibility and drove the newspapers, already confronting a perfect storm of political, technological, economic, and social turmoil, to the brink of extinction.
"O'Shea, a veteran journalist who was once at the helm of the Chicago Tribune and the L.A. Times, recounts the events leading to the dissolution of several major American newspapers in this gripping story of a troubled industry. Told from the 'front-row,' O'Shea shows how ill-advised mergers, mismanagement, acquisitive Wall Street execs, and the Tribune Company's eventual bankruptcy filing crippled an industry. Beginning with a primer on 20th century journalistic trends that set the stage for disaster, O'Shea chronicles the shocking details of how it all came to pass. After being fired from the L.A. Times in 2008 for his refusal to effectuate budget cuts issued from on high, O'Shea refused to sign the anti-defamation clause that would have prevented him from writing this book. Understandably, he is not pleased with how everything turned out, though his book is less a condemnation of those responsible for the industry's collapse and more a cautionary tale for others still active in the field he loves. While recounting how business interests sought an improper place in public service journalism, O'Shea works in fascinating and funny anecdotes that make for an excellent read. For those who want an inside look at what makes American journalism work (and not work), O'Shea offers a unique and valuable perspective.
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The authoritative account of a catastrophic merger of media empires that symbolizes the crisis in American journalism and the challenges faced by the nation's newspapers in the digital age
About the Author
James O'Shea, once managing editor of The Chicago Tribune and editor of the The Los Angeles Times, was most recently CEO and editor-in-chief of the Chicago News Cooperative. The author of two acclaimed books, O'Shea was a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard in 2009.