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

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9781572436718: Creating an Empire: ESPN - The No-Holds-Barred Story of Power, Ego, Money, and Vision That Transformed a Culture

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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From the Inside Flap:

Boasting four sports channels with more than 200 million viewers worldwide, a sports magazine with a circulation of more than 2 million, a network of radio stations, and a successful chain of theme restaurants—to say nothing of an estimated net worth of $15 billion—ESPN is a veritable media empire. It is one of the most instantly recognizable brands in the world. But in 1978, when Stuart Evey, then a top executive for Getty Oil, heard the pitch for funding a new cable network from Bill Rasmussen, a former play-by-play announcer for a minor league hockey team, he had good reason to be skeptical. An all-sports network whose programming would consist of events like slow-pitch softball, Australian-rules football, and day-old college basketball games that couldn’t make it on to the major networks? It shouldn’t have been a tough call: eight other companies had already said no.

But Stuart Evey said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history. But it’s a history of a most remarkable and dramatic sort, and a history that has, until now, gone largely unreported. Evey’s life at the helm of ESPN plunged him into a world of intrigue, backroom negotiations, and duels with executives at Getty, the major networks, and Hollywood studios. There were schemes to merge ESPN with CNN, create a cable movie channel that would have put HBO out of business, and start a pay-per-view channel with Don King. Make-or-break decisions were made on a seemingly daily basis and involved a cast of characters including Howard Cosell, Ted Turner, and Roone Arledge.

Creating an Empire: ESPN reveals the previously untold truths about Evey’s rivalry with Ted Turner (which nearly ended in a brawl in the parking lot of the Playboy Mansion), about secret meetings at mistresses’ homes, covering up run-ins with the law, and making connections with Hollywood stars and Mafia bosses. Readers will learn how Evey maneuvered ABC into partnering with ESPN at a time when Getty was ready to pull the plug, and why he forced the departure of ESPN founder Rasmussen just a month after the station went on the air. And if you’ve ever wondered how ESPN developed its trademark hip irreverence, as well as answers to a host of other intriguing questions, you’ll find out here.

ESPN has had three generations of devotees—from the baby boomers who watched the first SportsCenter broadcast in 1979 with equal parts anticipation and uncertainty, to the Generation X-ers who appreciatively came of age with the aid of ’round-the-clock sports coverage, to today’s youngsters hooked on the Xtreme sports shown on ESPN2. Few of them know anything about the wild make-or-break years, when the network teetered on the edge of failure and its creators battled to keep it on the air. Creating an Empire: ESPN tells the full story of ESPN’s origins, of how former Getty Oil executive and ESPN chairman Stuart Evey and a core group of believers fought, connived, begged, and borrowed—and everything in between—to nurture a little 24-hour cable sports network through its unlikely creation to the brink of dominance.

About 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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Book Description Triumph Books (IL), United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # UGH9781572436718

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Book Description Triumph Books (IL), United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # UGH9781572436718

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