Articles by Ken Auletta

How the Math Men Overthrew the Mad Men

The New Yorker - May 21, 2018

Once, Mad Men ruled advertising. They’ve now been eclipsed by Math Men—the engineers and data scientists whose province is machines, algorithms, pureed data, and artificial intelligence. Yet Math Men are beleaguered, as Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated when he humbled himself before Congress, in April. Math Men’s adoration of data—coupled with their truculence and an arrogant conviction that their “science” is nearly flawless—has aroused government anger, much as Microsoft did two decades ago.

Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, testifying before Congress about data privacy and security, in April.   Photograph by Mark Peterson / Redux for The New Yorker

Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, testifying before Congress about data privacy and security, in April.

Photograph by Mark Peterson / Redux for The New Yorker

The Rise, Reign, and Fall of W.P.P.’s Martin Sorrell

The New Yorker - April 17, 2018

The founder and C.E.O. of the world’s largest advertising-and-marketing holding company had said, “I will stay here until they shoot me!” Then, in a sense, they did.


The New Yorker - December 15, 2017

Murdoch faces a “Sophie’s Choice” between his sons Robert and Lachlan. The sale turns Fox into a company focussed on news and sports, which are Lachlan Murdoch’s great passions.

Photograph on by Getty Images

Photograph on by Getty Images


Don’t Mess with Roy Cohn

Esquire - December 1978

Roy Cohn was once the most feared lawyer in New York City. A ruthless master of dirty tricks, he smeared the reputations of his political enemies, helped send the Rosenbergs to the electric chair, and had more than one Mafia don on speed dial. But his most enduring legacy is Donald Trump, whom he took under his wing in the 1970s. In Ken Auletta's 1978 Esquire profile, we meet the man who tutored the president in the dark arts of gossip, power, and politics.

PLUS: on the Esquire Classic podcast, Ken discussES Cohn’s unrelenting cruelty and drive, and how it helped shape Trump

Fixing Broken Windows

The New Yorker - September 7, 2015

Bill Bratton wants to be America’s top cop. His critics say that his legacy is tainted.

Blood, Simpler

The New Yorker - December 15, 2014

Elizabeth Holmes is the C.E.O. of Theranos, a Silicon Valley company that is working to upend the lucrative business of blood testing.

The Hillary Show

The New Yorker - June 2, 2014

Since stepping down as Secretary of State, fifteen months ago, Hillary Clinton has kept a calculated distance from the press and the public. She is talking with close advisers about a possible second Presidential run.

Outside the Box

The New Yorker - February 3, 2014

In the spring of 2000, Reed Hastings, the C.E.O. of Netflix, hired a private plane and flew from San Jose to Dallas for a summit meeting with Blockbuster, the video-rental giant that had seventy-seven hundred stores worldwide handling mostly VCR tapes. Eventually, Hastings was convinced, movies would be rented even more cheaply and conveniently by streaming them over the Internet, and popular films would always be in stock. But in 2000 Netflix had only about three hundred thousand subscribers and relied on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver its DVDs; the company was losing money. Hastings proposed an alliance. Blockbuster wasn’t interested. What a momentous business mistake.

Illustration for The New Yorker by Leo Espinosa

Illustration for The New Yorker by Leo Espinosa

Freedom of Information

The New Yorker - October 7, 2013

Alan Rusbridger has pushed to transform the Guardian into a global digital newspaper, aimed at engaged, anti-establishment readers and available entirely for free. It’s a grand experiment, he concedes: just how free can a free press be?

After Bloomberg

The New Yorker - August 26, 2013

Michael Bloomberg, whose third and final term as mayor of New York expires at midnight on December 31st, is clearly vexed by the challenges of envisaging his own future and a City Hall without him.

Business Outsider

The New Yorker - April 8, 2013

Can a disgraced Wall Street analyst earn trust as a journalist?

The Heiress

The New Yorker - December 10, 2012

Long overshadowed by her brothers, Elisabeth has impressed Rupert Murdoch’s associates.

Citizens Jain

The New Yorker - October 8, 2012

Why India’s newspaper industry is thriving, and worrisome.

Illustration for The New Yorker by Emiliano Ponzi

Illustration for The New Yorker by Emiliano Ponzi


Paper Trail

The New Yorker - June 25, 2012

Did publishers and Apple collude against Amazon? Since introducing the Kindle, in 2007, Amazon had come to dominate the e-book market, with about ninety per cent of sales. In announcing the iPad, Steve Jobs offered publishers an arrangement called the agency model, which Apple used for selling music and apps. The publishers would set prices, and Apple, acting as their “agent,” would take a thirty-per-cent commission and give them the rest…. One publisher warns that books are “in danger of becoming roadkill” in a digital war.

Get Rich U.

The New Yorker - April 30, 2012

Stanford University is so startlingly paradisial, so fragrant and sunny, it’s as if you could eat from the trees and live happily forever. Students ride their bikes through manicured quads, past blooming flowers and statues by Rodin, to buildings named for benefactors like Gates, Hewlett, and Packard. Everyone seems happy, particularly Silicon Valley venture capitalists and investors who think of Stanford as their essential farm system.

War of Choice

The New Yorker - January 9, 2012

A profile of Univision, then the dominant Hispanic media enterprise in the U.S. with big dreams.

Changing Times

The New Yorker - October 24, 2011

At nine o'clock on the morning of September 6th, Jill Abramson was riding the subway uptown from her Tribeca loft. It was her first day as executive editor of the New York Times, and also the first time in the paper's hundred and sixty years that a woman’s name would appear at the top of the masthead. Abramson described herself as “excited,” because of the history she was about to make, and “a little nervous,” because she knew that many in the newsroom feared her.

Photograph for The New Yorker by Mary Ellen Mark

Photograph for The New Yorker by Mary Ellen Mark

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The New Yorker - October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead. One big question is whether the unbelievably innovative culture he forged will live. Jobs was not a great human being, but he was a great, transformative, and historical figure.

Business and Loyalty

The New Yorker - July 15, 2011

The only surprise in the resignation of Rebekah Brooks is that it took so long. She was the editor of the News of the World when a good deal of hacking was done, when police were paid bribes for documents and news tips.

What Murdoch Made

The New Yorker - July 7, 2011

Rupert Murdoch fathered a tabloid culture that reveled in the kind of news that could produce screaming headlines. There is simply no way that Murdoch, who has escaped more snares than Houdini, can cleanly escape the trap he has laid himself.

Photograph for The New Yorker by Michele Asselin

Photograph for The New Yorker by Michele Asselin


A Woman's Place

The New Yorker - July 11, 2011

In 2007, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, knew that he needed help. His social-network site was growing fast, but, at the age of twenty-three, he felt ill-equipped to run it. That December, he went to a Christmas party at the home of Dan Rosensweig, a Silicon Valley executive, and as he approached the house he saw someone who had been mentioned as a possible partner, Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s thirty-eight-year-old vice-president for global online sales and operations. Zuckerberg hadn’t called her before (why would someone who managed four thousand employees want to leave for a company that had barely any revenue?), but he went up and introduced himself. “We talked for probably an hour by the door,” Zuckerberg recalls. It turned out that Sandberg was ready for a new challenge.

Murdoch’s Best Friend

The NEw Yorker - April 11, 2011

Soon after Rupert Murdoch purchased Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, he transferred Robert Thomson from News Corp.’s Times of London, where he was the editor-in-chief, to New York, to become publisher of the Journal. The family intimate says, “Robert has a unique relationship with Rupert. He’s his closest friend, in the true sense of the word.”

Illustration for The New Yorker by Steve Brodner

Illustration for The New Yorker by Steve Brodner

The Dictator Index

The New Yorker - March 7, 2011

A profile of billionaire African mobile phone entrepreneur and inventor Mo Ibraham, who employs his wealth to battle the continent's dictators.

Tim Armstrong's Hail Mary Pass

The New yorkeR - February 7, 2011

AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post

Why Is Eric Schmidt Stepping Down?

The New Yorker - January 21, 2011

Was the Google CEO pushed, or did he jump?

Illustration for The New Yorker by John Cuneo

Illustration for The New Yorker by John Cuneo


You've Got News

The New Yorker - January 24, 2011

By purchasing the Huffington Post, CEO Armstrong seeks to take AOL back to the future, to a time when it played a central role in the Internet.

The Networker

The New Yorker - July 5, 2010

A profile of Saad Mohseni, Afghanistan's first media mogul.


The New Yorker - April 26, 2010

Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business?


The New Yorker - January 25, 2010

President Barack Obama is on a mission, his chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, told me, “not just to change politics in Washington but to change the culture of Washington, and the media is part of it.” This is hardly new. Abraham Lincoln commonly dismissed press criticism as “noise” and “gas” generated by ignorance and editorial self-importance. Marlin Fitzwater, the White House press secretary under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, compared the media to “an unwanted appendage, like a cocklebur that attaches to your pants leg.” This time, though, the battle between the President and the press is different. There is a third party involved—the Internet—and no one can control a story for long.

Illustration for The New Yorker by Steve Brodner

Illustration for The New Yorker by Steve Brodner

Ten Things Google Has Taught Us

CNN MONEY - October 26, 2009

Why Google is uniquely successful and what that means for the media world

Searching for Trouble

The New Yorker - October 12, 2009

Google has antagonized just about every traditional-media company at some point.

Illustration for The New Yorker by Mark Ulriksen

Illustration for The New Yorker by Mark Ulriksen


The Search Party

The New Yorker - January 14, 2008

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, believe that expanding their company’s lobbying operation in Washington, D.C., has become a necessity.

Promises, Promises

The New Yorker - January 14, 2008

What might the Wall Street Journal become if Rupert Murdoch owned it?

Critical Mass

The New Yorker - May 14, 2007

Everyone listens to Walter Mossberg.

The Fixer

The New Yorker - February 12, 2007

Why New Yorkers call Howard Rubenstein when they’ve got a problem.


The New Yorker - December 4, 2006

Lou Dobbs has been reborn as a populist—a full-throated champion of “the little guy,” an evangelical opponent of liberal immigration laws. His hour-long program, which airs at six, features Dobbs in a role that combines Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. On the air, he boomingly assails the upper management of corporate America for its “outrageous” greed, pay packages, and corruption, its opposition to increasing the minimum wage, its hiring of “illegal aliens,” its ties to “Communist China,” and its eagerness to send American jobs overseas.

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller

Hollywood Ending

The New Yorker - July 24, 2006

Can a wiretap scandal bring down L.A.’s scariest lawyer, Bert Fields?

The Raid

The New Yorker - March 20 , 2006

How Carl Icahn got outmaneuvered by Richard Parsons when he attempted a hostile takeover of Time Warner.

The Inheritance

The New Yorker - December 19, 2005

Can Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., save the Times—and himself?

Fault Line

The New Yorker - October 10, 2005

Can the Los Angeles Times survive its owners?

The Dawn Patrol

The New Yorker - August 8 & 15, 2005

The curious rise of morning television, and the future of network news.

The New Pitch

The New Yorker - March 28, 2005

Do ads still work?

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller / Corbis

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller / Corbis



The New Yorker - March 7, 2005

On the door to Dan Rather's office at CBS are two fading gold lines of script: "Go tell the Spartans, thou who passest by, / That here, obedient to their laws, we lie." The quotation, Rather told me — the words of the Spartans who died holding off the Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae — has served as an inspiration ever since Mrs. Spencer, his fourth-grade teacher in Houston, Texas, first read it aloud in class. "They fought to the last man," he said. "I read that as loyalty. That's what it's come to mean to me. Loyal to the very end. Loyal to their beliefs. Loyal to their code." Rather, it was clear, was talking about himself; it was December, and he and several CBS News colleagues were awaiting the results of an outside investigation into their work which threatened their livelihoods and their reputations.

Kerry's Brain

The New Yorker - September 20, 2004

Bob Shrum is one of the biggest names in the campaign business-but is he prepared to take on Bush?

Big Bird Flies Right

The New Yorker - June 7, 2004

How Republicans learned to love PBS.

How the Media Got That Way

The Los Angeles Times - April 4, 2004

Ken’s review of the books The Creation of the Media, by Paul Starr, and All the News That's Fit to Sell, by James T. Hamilton

Fortress Bush

The New Yorker - January 19, 2004

How George W. Bush’s White House closed ranks against the press corps.

Family Business

The New Yorker - November 3, 2003

Dow Jones is not like other companies. How long can that go on?

Vox Fox

The New Yorker - May 26, 2003

Roger Ailes is a television pioneer, someone who had no background in news and yet created something different in the TV news business. In large part because of Ailes, Fox News, in its short life—it débuted on October 7, 1996—has established an unmistakable identity: it is opinionated and conservative, and its news is delivered by people who themselves are often unabashedly opinionated and conservative. When Ted Turner launched the Cable News Network in 1980, CNN took the idea of all-news radio and transferred it to television. The Fox News idea was to make another sort of transition: to bring the heated, sometimes confrontational atmosphere of talk radio into the television studio.

Illustration for The New Yorker by Gerald Scarfe

Illustration for The New Yorker by Gerald Scarfe

Beauty and the Beast

The New Yorker - December 16, 2002

A profile of powerful movie studio boss Harvey Weinstein, a brilliant bully.

The Howell Doctrine

The New Yorker - June 10, 2002

A profile of Howell Raines, the executive editor of the New York Times

Battle Stations

The New Yorker - December 10, 2001

How long will the networks stick with the news?


The New Yorker - October 29, 2001

How much bigger can AOL Time Warner get?

The Microsoft Verdict

The New Yorker - July 9, 2001

Both sides, it turns out, had reason to be pleased.

Inside Out

The New Yorker - June 11, 2001

How was born, grew, and met an uncertain fate.

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller / Saba

Photograph for The New Yorker by Martin Schoeller / Saba


The Lost Tycoon

The New Yorker - April 23, 2001

Now he has no wife, no job, and no empire, but Ted Turner may just save the world. Early last year, Turner seemed invincible. He was the largest shareholder in AOL Time Warner, owning around four per cent of the soon-to-be-merged companies; his celebrated name was on the door of a major division, Turner Broadcasting System; and his dimpled chin, gap-toothed smile, and pencil-thin Gable-esque mustache were recognizable everywhere.

Final Offer

The New Yorker - January 15, 2001

What kept Microsoft from settling its case?

Stay Tuned for More of the Same

The New Yorker - November 8, 1999

Bay Area community leaders were petitioning the F.C.C. to reject the merger between AMFM, Inc., and Clear Channel. “This is the flea biting the elephant,” one host admitted.

Wall Street Follies

The New Yorker - September 20, 1999

The CBS-Viacom merger, and how the clash of the two corporate cultures can subvert the grandest plans.

Hard Core

The New Yorker - August 16, 1999

Why does Bill Gates think that the Microsoft antitrust trial has been such a disaster for him?

What I Did At Summer Camp

The New Yorker -July 18, 1999

A reporter for first time gets inside Herb Allen's Sun Valley C.E.O. retreat.

On the Air

The New Yorker - March 22, 1999

NBC plays footsie with Sony.

Dept. of Airwaves

The New Yorker - November 9, 1998

How best to use the HDTV spectrum opening to the broadcast industry? The decision may effect the election in 2000.

The Last Sure Thing

The New Yorker - November 9, 1998

PointCast’s “push” technology was briefly the hottest new thing. Rupert Murdoch’s empire tried to buy it for almost half a billion dollars. What went wrong?

The Invisible Manager

The New Yorker - July 27, 1998

Can the reclusive executive who helped bring back the N.F.L. — and is embracing Howard Stern — reinvent CBS?

Brave New World Dept.

The New Yorker - July 13, 1998

At the dawn of high-speed cable Internet, John Malone’s sale of Tele-Communications, Inc., to A.T.&T., transforms the long-distance telephone firm into a multimedia telephone and cable company with potentially exclusive access to the Web.

Up Life’s Ladder

The New Yorker - June 8, 1998

Gerry Laybourne has been making risky decisions since she started in television. Leaving Disney, she puts women and children first.

The Don

The New Yorker - May 25, 1998

Why are so many politicians and journalists lining up to be insulted by radio host Don Imus? The Don is not pleased when visitors blather. He holds grudges, he is personally insulted when companies don’t reward his favorite charity, and if you don’t amuse him you’re whacked. Each morning, he is quick to let loose on “wimps,” “jerks,” “weasels,” and “punks.”

Illustration for The New Yorker by Michael Crawford

Illustration for The New Yorker by Michael Crawford

In the Company of Women

The New Yorker - April 20, 1998

Behaving like a woman was supposed to be bad for business, but the female executives of the entertainment and information industries are turning it to their advantage.

Life in Broadcasting

The New Yorker - April 13, 1998

The Roone Arledge era at ABC news — which began 21 years ago, and which has redefined the look and feel of American news coverage — is ending in June

Demolition Man

The New Yorker - November 17, 1997

Mark Willes tore down the traditional wall between editorial and advertising. Will that save the L.A. Times?

Only the Fast Survive

The New Yorker - October 20 & 27, 1997

An E-mail exchange with Andrew S. Grove, the chairman and C.E.O. of Intel.


The New Yorker - October 20 & 27, 1997

The six most powerful media companies are borrowing the ancient Japanese custom of co-opting the competition.

The IMpossible Business

The New Yorker - October 6, 1998

Since Gutenberg, publishing has been in crisis. The current crisis might be its most serious. And the outcome might change the business forever.

The Emmy Factory

The New Yorker - September 15, 1997

Why does everyone seem to win television’s most recognized award?

The Microsoft Provocateur

The New Yorker - May 12, 1997

For a decade, Nathan Myhrvold, Bill Gates's corporate gadfly, has been writing copious, bombastic, brilliant, and confidential memos for his boss. To read them is to understand a lot about Microsoft — and the future.

Fathers and Daughters

The Nightingale-Bamford School magazine - Winter / Spring 1997

I’ve never been called a “soccer mom,” but I qualify. Unlike my dad, who left the house early each morning and returned expecting dinner on the table, I neither go to an office nor stray far from my refrigerator. As a writer I fit into another category: Work-at-home dad. Which is not so different from “soccer mom.”

The Bloomberg Threat

The New Yorker - March 10, 1997

Why does America's newest media mogul scare Dow Jones?

The Man Who Disappeared

The New Yorker - January 6, 1997

At one time, a whole generation of Times reporters wished they could write like McCandlish Phillips. Then he left them all for God.

Inside Story

The New Yorker - November 10, 1996

When the 1996 Presidential race ended, the press called it an awful, dispiriting campaign. President Clinton and Bob Dole, many wrote, were negative and cynical and had become slaves to the latest poll. Were they right?

Marriage, No Honeymoon

The New Yorker - July 29, 1996

When Disney acquired ABC for more than $19 billion, they created the world's largest media company. Will the merger be as good for the public as it may be for Disney?

BehinD the Times

The New Yorker - June 10, 1996

Many believe that Howell Raines, the current editorial-page editor, is Arthur Ochs (Punch) Sulzberger’s choice as the next editor of the New York Times. Raines, who has won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, has his detractors, including journalists who believe he is arrogant and too pugilistic, but few doubt his qualifications or deny that Raines would invest the newsroom with more spirit.

The Re-education of Michael Kinsley

The New Yorker - May 13, 1996

What's been going on since the Beltway contrarian and the corporate cyber whizzes in Seattle got together to create a new kind of electronic magazine? Some very interesting ideas about journalism.

The News Rush

The New Yorker - March 18, 1996

Last October, the top executives of NBC and of Microsoft met on the fifty-second floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to talk about a dramatic news partnership. Why are the networks so eager to invade CNN's turf?

That's Entertainment

The New Yorker - February 12, 1996

These are giddy days in the industry, and C.E.O.s keep losing their heads.

The Wages of Synergy

The New Yorker - November 27, 1995

Comment about journalistic integrity and the corporate restructuring of media. As companies converge, occasions for journalistic conflicts of interest proliferate.

The Pirate

The New Yorker - November 13, 1995

A profile of Rupert Murdoch, who often shuns the normal practices and principles of business and the media to get what he wants. It's a strategy that's working in China but hasn't with Time Warner.


The New Yorker - August 14, 1995

Michael Eisner's comeback and his probable peace with Jeffrey Katzenberg crown a succession of mogul mergers and breakups that tops anything on TV.


The New Yorker - June 12, 1995

The buzzing about whether Michael Ovitz will leave the Creative Artists Agency to head up MCA has become an echo chamber.

Fighting words

The New Yorker - June 12, 1995

Michael Eisner's comeback and his probable peace with Jeffrey Katzenberg crown a succession of mogul mergers and breakups that tops anything on TV.

Pay Per Views

The New Yorker - June 5, 1995

With legislation pending, what can a media C.E.O. do to get Congress on his side? PAC funds help, but the new Republicans want more than just money.

The Consigliere

The New Yorker - May 22, 1995

There are big decisions yet to be made in the MCA-Seagram deal, and they may all involve Herbert Allen.

The Race for a Global Network

The New Yorker - March 6, 1995

G.E.'s Jack Welch was trying to unload NBC. But now NBC has a strategy, while CBS reels from Howard Stringer's departure.

Selling the Air

The New Yorker - February 13, 1995

Who will control the airwaves? This year may see a decision, and the battle is on between the new Congress and the F.C.C. — and its chairman, Reed Hundt.

Redstone's Secret Weapon

The New Yorker - January 16, 1995

Frank Bondi is the one who "makes the numbers" at Viacom — and last year those numbers got Paramount and Blockbuster for the company.

The Human Factor

The New Yorker - September 26, 1994

Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg were one of the steadiest and most successful teams in Hollywood. So why did they force a split that neither man wanted?

The $64,000 Question

The New Yorker - September 19, 1994

Thirty-five years after the quiz-show scandal, a group of network executives consider the question: Is television still cheating?

Fee Speech

The New Yorker - September 12, 1994

Who, besides members of Congress, accepts money from special interests? Often, the journalists most eager to sneer at politicians for it.

Network for Sale?

The New Yorker - July 25, 1994

In the wake of Barry Diller's failed bid for CBS, who will own the network isn't clear, but some truths about mergers in the new electronic media are.

Back in Play

The New Yorker - July 18, 1994

Barry Diller has said that network broadcasting is the past, so what does he see for CBS? And what will happen now that Larry Tisch has put CBS in play?

Rising Son

The New Yorker - June 6, 1994

From the time Edgar Bronfman, Jr., skipped college for a career in Hollywood to his decision to take over and redirect a large part of his family's Seagram Company, he has had a clear sense of what he wants his achievements to be. Some nervous executives at Time Warner are wondering where they fit into his plans.

Room at the Top

The New Yorker - April 18, 1994

Joseph Lelyveld ascends to the Times' editorship. It was the naming of the new No. 2--and what it said about the future--that kept everyone guessing.

The Magic Box

The New Yorker - April 11, 1994

Time Warner is testing its futuristic vision of services that will be available from the TV. But how much interaction do Americans really want? And is their interactive model the right one?

Promise Her the Moon

The New Yorker - February 14, 1994

To the television networks, the star power of a Diane Sawyer is ever more crucial. So another contract bidding war has begun--led again by Fox.

John Malone: Flying Solo

The New Yorker - February 7, 1994

John Malone, who engineered the merger between his TCI and Bell Atlantic, is the pioneering cable titan whom Al Gore once called Darth Vader. Despite charges of monopoly and deception, Malone has become the most powerful man in television, and has the industry and Capitol Hill wondering where he'll go next.

Under the Wire

The New Yorker - January 17, 1994

Will the telecommunications revolution end in monopoly or Big Brotherhood? Neither, if Al Gore gets his way.

TV's New Gold Rush

The New Yorker - December 13, 1993

American programming has invaded overseas markets once dominated by state-run television, and ABC's Herb Granath has led the charge.

The ElectroniC Parent

The New Yorker - November 8, 1993

The entertainment industry is scrambling for an answer to violence after Janet Reno’s proposals for taming TV violence, but a San Francisco radio show may already have one.

The Last Studio in Play

The New Yorker - October 4, 1993

Barry Diller and Sumner Redstone differ about where their industry is going, and Paramount may prove to be their testing ground.

Raiding the Global Village

The New Yorker - August 2, 1993

CNN's global dominance faces challenges from new multinational network linkups and from changes in what the world wants to watch.

Opening Up the Times

The New Yorker - June 28, 1993

Can the New York Times, America's family-owned newspaper of record, function as a democracy? Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., who succeeded his father as publisher a year and a half ago, wants to change the power structure of the Times. And he has put his top editors through some soul-searching to see if they can make it happen.

What Won't They Do?

The New Yorker - May 17, 1993

Hollywood decision-makers discuss the social impact of the big screen and the small screen--and where the entertainment industry's responsibilities end.

Changing Channels

The New Yorker - March 15, 1993

While NBC and ABC grapple with management successions, mergers, and Mike Ovitz as producer, a new form of cable threatens to change the rules.

Barry Diller's Search for the Future

The New Yorker - February 22, 1993

Diller's new venture began with a laptop and a home-shopping cable network — and it stunned Hollywood. But it may make him billions. And herald the future.

Late-Night Gamble

The New Yorker - February 1, 1993

NBC suffered a major blow to its prestige when it lost David Letterman, but will it get the last laugh?

How the Politicians and the Public Learned to Loathe the Media

Esquire - November 1992

The swarm of reporters hovered outside Blake’s coffee shop in Manchester, New Hampshire, waiting for the candidate to appear. Suddenly Bill Clinton stepped out into the New England cold—not that you could see him, of course. What you could see were the boom microphones and TV cameras and tape recorders, all diving toward the dense center, reporters frantic to capture the moment—that gotcha! question, that gaffe—that would kill one candidate’s quest for the presidency.

Larry Tisch, Who Mistook His Network For a Spreadsheet

Esquire - September 1991

In five years as CEO, he has had one passion: saving money. He’s never understood why his employees hate him so much. Or why he may end up destroying CBS.


Part I — The New Yorker — April 9, 1984
Part II — The New Yorker — April 16, 1984

Profile of Mario Cuomo, sworn in as governor of N.Y. on Jan. 1, 1983. He is being touted as one of the Democratic Party's prospects for national office. On issues that interest liberals he takes the correct position. But in his speeches he often refers to God, his Roman Catholicism, and to family with the patriotism of an immigrant's son and this makes him popular among more conservative voters. His willingness to compromise casts him as a moderate with potentially broad appeal.

Ralph Nader, Public Eye

Esquire - December 1983

The public interest, not public relations, has long been Ralph Nader’s primary concern. Blunt, uncompromising, relentless, Nader moved against powerful, well-financed institutions to alert citizens to myriad hazards.

A Certain Poetry

Part I — The New Yorker — June 6, 1983
Part II — The New Yorker — June 13, 1983

Profile of Jean Riboud, chairman of Schlumberger, Inc., a multinational corporation dealing mainly with oil drilling. With assets of $16 billion, there are only three other companies worth more: Exxon, I.B.M., and A.T.&T. Riboud, while a hugely successful capitalist, retains the Socialist political views of his youth and numbers among his friends mostly artists and writers. Founded in 1919 by Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger, the corporation's major breakthrough came in 1927 with the invention of the electrical resistance log, which made drilling for oil profitable.

The Underclass

Part I: The New Yorker — November 9, 1981
Part II: The New Yorker — November 16, 1981
Part III: The New Yorker — November 23, 1981

“Reporter at Large” about the underclass or hard-core unemployed. Few training or job programs reach them. An experiment to help, called supported work, was designed by a N.Y.-based nonprofit corp., the Manpower Demonstration Research Corp. (M.D.R.C.). One of its projects is the Wildcat Skills Training Center on W. 37 St. It aims to prepare students for the real world, concentrating on the development of social skills and work habits. The students are criminals, drug addicts, or pushers, alcoholics, welfare mothers.


The Mayor

Part I: The New Yorker — September 3, 1979
Part II: The New Yorker — September 10, 1979

Profile of Mayor Edward Koch (who became Mayor in January 1978). He was the second of three children, born in the Bronx in 1924. His parents were poor Jewish immigrants from Poland. The Mayor's current popularity results because he is not viewed as a liberal. He calls himself a "sane liberal." Actually he's a pragmatist. He identifies with the center of the national Democratic Party.

More for Less

The New Yorker - July 25, 1977

An in depth report on the extravagant employee work rules and mismanagement of New York City's government, a reason city taxpayers spend three times as much as they did ten years ago to receive the same level of police, fire, sanitation, and education service. And why this is not a liberal or a conservative issue, but a consumer issue.

Plus: Dept. of Amplification - September 26, 1977