ESPN: The No-Holds-Barred Story of Power, Ego, Money, and Vision That Transformed a Culture

Overview

Stuart Evey, the founding chairman of ESPN, details the difficult, thrilling, and contentious creation of ESPN in this insider’s account. From altercations with Ted Turner at the Playboy mansion to manufacturing a high-stakes, multi-million dollar bidding war between media giants based on nothing more than carefully placed insinuations, Evey was at the center of everything regarding ESPN's infancy and early years. Featured among the many riveting stories are a look inside the dysfunctional family empire that was ...

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ESPN Creating an Empire: The No-Holds-Barred Story of Power, Ego, Money, and Vision That Transformed a Culture

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Overview

Stuart Evey, the founding chairman of ESPN, details the difficult, thrilling, and contentious creation of ESPN in this insider’s account. From altercations with Ted Turner at the Playboy mansion to manufacturing a high-stakes, multi-million dollar bidding war between media giants based on nothing more than carefully placed insinuations, Evey was at the center of everything regarding ESPN's infancy and early years. Featured among the many riveting stories are a look inside the dysfunctional family empire that was worth billions, why the young network cut Dick Vitale's microphone off in mid-interview, how Evey duped ABC into investing millions into ESPN, and why Bristol, Connecticut was chosen as the home of a burgeoning media monolith.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Evey, founding chairman of the famous sports network, recounts his experiences as the cutthroat businessman central to the creation of what would become one of cable TV's most profitable and watched channels. He begins his memoir the publication of which coincides with ESPN's 25th anniversary by describing his relationship with his reclusive, eccentric, very wealthy boss, George Getty (of Getty Oil), and how that played into the Getty company's decision to put Evey at the helm of the burgeoning network. The narrative dashes back and forth between Getty's home in England, the oil firm's holdings in Mexico and Liberia, and, finally, to ESPN's broadcast home of Bristol, Conn. Less an analysis of ESPN's place in programming history than an egotistical blow-by-blow account of big business dealings, Evey's book barely illuminates the personalities behind the network itself (with a few brief exceptions) or the philosophy behind its success. Rather, it breathlessly extols the virtues of Evey's globe-trotting, big-check-signing bosses and adds excess drama to the stresses behind corporate mergers and acquisitions negotiated on Hawaii's beaches. In fact, Evey spends so much time detailing the various backstabbings and tough-guy business decisions he insists were necessary to the station's success, that when his tale ends with him being brought low by alcoholism and divorce, it doesn't inspire much empathy. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Former ESPN chairman Evey is the kind of guy who peppers his book with descriptions of his impeccable attire, the view from his 18th-floor Southern California office, and the plushness of his limo. He also includes the transcript of a long conversation between an associate and director Jim Simpson, purportedly to show what a great guy Simpson is but just happening to contain several paeans to Evey from Simpson. And, finally, he makes this seem more like an autobiography than the story of a network. These quibbles aside, one has to admire a man who, as vice president of diversified operations for Getty Oil, had the vision and guts to loosen that venerable company's purse strings when Bill Rasmussen came to him, hat in hand, with the wacky (for the late 1970s) scheme of launching a satellite cable TV all-sports network, who acted as its chairman for five years, and who then recognized that the time had come to sell a majority interest in it to ABC. Not essential, but libraries owning other accounts of ESPN (e.g., Michael Freeman's ESPN: The Uncensored History) will want it. Jim Burns, Jacksonville P.L., FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572436718
  • Publisher: Triumph Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,348,980
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Evey, a high-ranking executive at Getty Oil for 26 years, directed the development and launch of the all-sports cable television network ESPN. The former chairman of ESPN, he negotiated its sale to ABC TV in 1985. He lives in Spokane, Washington.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter 1. Intimations of Mortality 1
Chapter 2. Early Years and Nascent Notions 13
Chapter 3. Work Styles of the Rich and Famous 29
Chapter 4. Preparation A, B, and C 37
Chapter 5. A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts 69
Chapter 6. A Crazy Idea 75
Chapter 7. Timing Is Everything 79
Chapter 8. Reasons for No-ing 87
Chapter 9. Rasmussen Meets the Getty Brass 95
Chapter 10. Where the Hell Is Bristol, Connecticut? 111
Chapter 11. Lights! Camera! Action? 121
Chapter 12. ESPN Goes to the Movies 135
Chapter 13. Advice and Consent 143
Chapter 14. Easy as ABC 153
Chapter 15. The Pied Piper of ESPN 187
Chapter 16. ESPN's Golden Throat 195
Chapter 17. From "Who's Who" to "Who's He?" 209
Epilogue 221
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    Yuck

    Picked this up by accident (meant to get the Uncesnored History.) This was an awful egotistical mess and I am thrilled to be able to just not finish it. How could this even have been published?

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