Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Review: Me and Ted Against the World by Reese Schonfeld

Me and Ted Against the World the Unathorized Story of the Founding of CNNMe and Ted Against the World the Unathorized Story of the Founding of CNN by Reese Schonfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

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