Just finished Dick Martin’s "Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars" (Anacom, $24.95). The former chief of PR’s recounting of his days at AT&T as it morphed into—and out of—a cable company makes for an interesting number of lessons not fully learned. For a cable guy reading this book, it struck me as interesting that only a handful of cable people are even mentioned … much less listened to. Of course, the usual suspects make it into print (Burke-both DolansHinderyHostetterLevinMagnessMaloneRobbins-both RobertsRogersSchleyer), but the PR function that Martin headed sure seemed to ignore the folks who had worked in the cable world. So, at the big announcement as the new "cable guy" Armstrong bought TCI, he—and most of the others there—were surprised at the digging question asked by experienced cable money scribe John Higgins. The book reads like yet another ‘they-came-to-explain-how- to-run-a-cable-company’ and found out they didn’t know how. – PSM

 

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