Power to Burn: Michael Ovitz and the New Business of Show Business
As the head of the high-rolling Creative Artists Agency, Michael Ovitz was called the most powerful man in Hollywood. In August 1995, after the Walt Disney Company announced its $19 billion merger with Capital Cities/ABC in the biggest media story ever, Ovitz's power seemed eclipsed - until he surprised everyone and joined Michael Eisner at the top of the global Disney behemoth. A full-scale business biography, Power to Burn offers the first complete, unauthorized portrait of one of the richest, most formidable, most famous, yet least known media moguls. The real action began in 1975, when Ovitz and four colleagues left the legendary William Morris Agency to start CAA and give Morris a run for its money. They had a $100,000 line of credit and an office furnished with card tables and folding chairs. Ovitz was twenty-eight, hungry, and scared. Eventually, from its I. M. Pei-designed fortress on Wilshire Boulevard, CAA would control a multibillion-dollar client list that boasted the biggest moneymakers in Hollywood, including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Barbra Streisand. The Morris Agency was running scared, and Ovitz's cutthroat negotiating tactics provoked accusations that CAA was trying to put it out of business. When he shocked Hollywood by becoming president of Disney, he didn't just get a new job: he closed one chapter and opened another in the history of show business. Through extensive research, including many interviews, Power to Burn takes readers behind the scenes of Michael Ovitz's incredible rise and explores his newest role, one that is guaranteed to change the way media empires are run for years to come.
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