Three Blind Mice

Three Blind Mice

How the TV Networks Lost Their Way

By Ken Auletta

Vintage, Paperback, 9780679741350, 656pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 1992


What happened to network television in the 1980s? How did CBS, NBC, and ABC lose a third of their audience and more than half of their annual profits?

Ken Auletta, author of Greed and Glory on Wall Street, tells the gripping story of the decline of the networks in this epically scaled work of journalism. He chronicles the takeovers and executive coups that turned ABC and NBC into assets of two mega-corporations and CBS into the fiefdom of one man, Larry Tisch, whose obsession with the bottom line could be both bracing and appalling.

Auletta takes us inside the CBS newsroom on the night that Dan Rather went off-camera for six deadly minutes; into the screening rooms where NBC programming wunderkind Brandon Tartikoff watched two of his brightest prospects for new series thud disastrously to earth; and into the boardrooms where the three networks were trying to decide whether television is a public trust or a cash cow.

Rich in anecdote and gossip, scalpel-sharp in its perceptions, Three Blind Mice chronicles a revolution in American business and popular culture, one that is changing the world on both sides of the television screen.

About the Author
Ken Auletta has written the Annals of Communications column for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including THREE BLIND MICE: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; GREED AND GLORY ON WALL STREET: The Fall of The House of Lehman; and WORLD WAR 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies. In naming him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, "no other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta." He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

Praise For Three Blind Mice

"Three Blind Mice may be the most thorough probe ever into how the TV industry works." -- Newsweek

"This is one of the best books on television. Maybe the best."

-- Dallas Morning News

"The book's fascination and fun lie in the detail -- Mr. Auletta's extraordinary access to the principal players, his eye for color, ear for anecdote and reporter's instinct for conflict." -- Wall Street Journal

"It's a tour de force of reporting" -- Business Week