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Me and Ted Against the World Hardcover – 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cliff Street Books; 1St Edition edition (2001)
  • ASIN: B001IKMG2Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Me and Ted Against the World should be required reading, not just for journalism students and those interested in news and public affairs, it should be on the must-read list for everyone who loves a good tale, well written. It tells two distinct stories: one, how the good guys won; and two, how the not-so-good guys screwed up. The teller of the tales is the world's foremost guerilla journalist, Reese Schonfeld. His background, he had bumped heads with the network news establishment at United Press Movietone News and as founder of the Independent Television News Association, made him the only person on the planet with the capability of implementing the then revolutionary idea of an around the clock television news channel. What he needed was a conspirator, another revolutionary who could come up with the money and sell the concept. Enter Ted Turner. They joined forces and together they changed the world; not just the television world, the entire world. Diplomacy, warfare, commerce and culture are all vastly different entities as a result of CNN and others like it which have come along since. The story of how they succeeded, Turner as Mr. Outside, the deal maker promoter and salesman, and Schonfeld as Mr. Inside, the architect, builder and keeper of the gate, is terrific. After the revolution was won, the two revolutionaries had no more wars to win. Except against each other. That war was one-sided. One guy, Turner, owned all the weapons. The other, Schonfeld, was a great general who had troops but no supplies. Turner called Schonfeld into his office one day and in the same breath declared war and declared himself the victor. Schonfeld was fired. The empire had been built, so the guy who constructed it was no longer needed, or so Turner thought.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Whenever I encounter TV news after having read this book, the mechanics and biases behind it appear so obvious.
By exposing the guts of a news machine, and insightfully comparing different coverage of the same event, Me and Ted gives you a level of news literacy that lets you appreciate it more. This level of detail -- clearly coming from someone obsessed with his creation -- is amazing and rarely tedious. Combine it with Randall Rothenberg's advertising expose "Where the Suckers Moon", for a good start at understanding post-70s America.
The one drawback ... But once you get used to filtering it out, Me and Ted becomes a wonderful book.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
Reese Schonfeld wrote the book Me and Ted Against the World, (HarperCollins Publisher, 2001) which is described as the unauthorized story of the founding of CNN. Schonfeld writes that the time in which he was writing his book was a great period in the history of CNN because everything was in a mess. Ted Turner's deal with AOL/Time Warner was not working out the way he had planned. The numbers of viewers for CNN shows had declined. Everyone was nervous. But Schonfeld says this is a great time to be writing a book!

Reese Schonfeld was one Turner's partner for the first three years of the life of CNN. He was in the news business, and Ted turner was described as the best advertising salesman that TV had ever known. Together they worked to develop CNN. Both Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld were thrown out of their universities because they did not like authority, Schonfeld out of Harvard Law and Turner out of Brown University.

The reviewer says, "both were control freaks. CNN was their baby" (cover). However, in 1982, when CNN's ratings were at its highest, Turner fired Schonfeld and gained control of CNN. This story is told from Schonfeld's point of view. In the beginning, he writes that he will be cynical and tough when writing this book. Schonfeld says that although he did not invent 24 hour news, he did invent the idea of fluid news. This is the style he says that differentiates CNN from others. Fluid news is described as being spontaneous.

Schonfeld says that it took some time for the people he hired to understand this right away because they were used to perfect half-hour shows. Some learned and adjusted and some did not. Before he could fire the ones that did not learn, Mr. Turner fired him.
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