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Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media…
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Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy (edició 2023)

de James B Stewart (Autor), Rachel Abrams (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
762335,602 (3.61)1
"The shocking inside story of the struggle for power and control at Paramount, the multibillion-dollar entertainment empire controlled by the Redstone family, and the dysfunction, misconduct, and deceit that threatened the future of the company, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who first broke the news In 2016, the fate of Paramount--the entertainment conglomerate that includes Viacom, CBS, and Simon & Schuster--hung precariously in the balance. Its founder and head, ninety-three-year-old Sumner M. Redstone, was facing a very public lawsuit brought by a former romantic companion, Manuela Herzer--a lawsuit that placed Sumner's deteriorating health and questionable judgment under a harsh light. As one of the last in a long line of all-powerful media moguls, Sumner had been a relentlessly demanding boss, and an even more demanding father. When his daughter, Shari, took control of her father's business, she faced the hostility of boards and management who for years had heard Sumner disparage his daughter. Les Moonves, the popular CEO of CBS, felt particularly threatened. Scheming with his allies on the board, Moonves worked to strip Shari of power. But while he publicly battled Shari, news began to leak that Moonves had been involved in multiple instances of sexual misconduct, and he began working behind the scenes to try to make the stories disappear. Unscripted is an explosive and unvarnished look at the usually secret inner workings of two public companies, their boards of directors, and a wealthy family in the throes of seismic changes. Through the microcosm of this company, whose once victorious business model of cable fees and ticket sales is crumbling under the assault of technological advances, and whose workplace is undergoing radical change in the wake of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and a distaste for the old guard, New York Times reporters James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams lay bare the battle for power at any price--and the carnage that ensued"--… (més)
Membre:judestone
Títol:Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy
Autors:James B Stewart (Autor)
Altres autors:Rachel Abrams (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Press (2023), 416 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy de James B. Stewart

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Es mostren totes 2
Rich people are awful, and should be taxed more. ( )
  siriaeve | Jul 24, 2023 |
Fun, quick, trashy read. The book moves quickly because it focuses on the characters and their interactions, but we lose sight of the larger business and cultural forces at work.

Also, the authors are far too credulous in their approach to Shari Redstone. In my opinion, based on the evidence they provide, she's just as bad as all the other malicious actors trying to exploit Sumner Redstone in his last days. It's just that she ultimately wins out.

The biggest sticking point is that Sumner Redstone -- as long as he was cogent -- repeated over and over again that he did not want Shari Redstone to succeed him. But after Shari seizes control in a household coup, she claims (without any public evidence) that her incapacitated father now supports her.

But that's pretty hard to swallow. For example, Frederic Salerno, a member of the Viacom board, was willing to support Shari if he could meet with Sumner and confirm a change of heart. Shari claims that a meeting was offered but refused (p. 170); Salerno claims that he repeatedly requested a meeting but was not permitted one (p. 174). So which is true? Our authors side with Shari, but it's not clear to me at all on what evidence they make that judgment.

Repeatedly our authors paint Shari in a very positive light when any critical thought suggests alternative motivations and judgments:
* p. 167: our authors do not drill down into rumors that Shari potentially promised to pay off the household staff when she staged her coup. ("[an email] from Octaviano asking for financial help for him and his wife to open a laundromat")
* p. 266: "Shari had no intention of trying to force through a merger," when all Shari had done (and would do in the future) was aimed at creating a merger of CBS & Viacom.
* p. 305: "Afterward Shari worried that she'd been too hard on Moonves. Should she send him a text?" -- but she never actually sent the text, so how do the authors know that she thought about it? Shari must have told them in an effort to soften her image.
* p. 340-1: "By most objective measures, Shari was proven right about the merger and her choice of Basksh as chief executive," but on just the next page "[according to] the stock price, the merger had failed to stem the company's decline." So maybe Shari was wrong about her choice, if by the "most important measure" it was a failure?
* p. 343: why wasn't Shari there at her father's death? Listening to him die on speakerphone is not really the touching scene the authors portray it as.

Anyway the book is full of these moments where the emails and text messages quoted seem to directly contract the positive image of Shari that the authors try to spin. Nevertheless an overall fun read. ( )
  theoldlove | Apr 12, 2023 |
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"The shocking inside story of the struggle for power and control at Paramount, the multibillion-dollar entertainment empire controlled by the Redstone family, and the dysfunction, misconduct, and deceit that threatened the future of the company, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who first broke the news In 2016, the fate of Paramount--the entertainment conglomerate that includes Viacom, CBS, and Simon & Schuster--hung precariously in the balance. Its founder and head, ninety-three-year-old Sumner M. Redstone, was facing a very public lawsuit brought by a former romantic companion, Manuela Herzer--a lawsuit that placed Sumner's deteriorating health and questionable judgment under a harsh light. As one of the last in a long line of all-powerful media moguls, Sumner had been a relentlessly demanding boss, and an even more demanding father. When his daughter, Shari, took control of her father's business, she faced the hostility of boards and management who for years had heard Sumner disparage his daughter. Les Moonves, the popular CEO of CBS, felt particularly threatened. Scheming with his allies on the board, Moonves worked to strip Shari of power. But while he publicly battled Shari, news began to leak that Moonves had been involved in multiple instances of sexual misconduct, and he began working behind the scenes to try to make the stories disappear. Unscripted is an explosive and unvarnished look at the usually secret inner workings of two public companies, their boards of directors, and a wealthy family in the throes of seismic changes. Through the microcosm of this company, whose once victorious business model of cable fees and ticket sales is crumbling under the assault of technological advances, and whose workplace is undergoing radical change in the wake of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and a distaste for the old guard, New York Times reporters James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams lay bare the battle for power at any price--and the carnage that ensued"--

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