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DATE 2007-06-01

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Key: id Value: 530578

Key: archive Value: 2007-06-01

MESSAGE
DATE 2007-06-06
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Valenti Dead - Imus Lives
From owner-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Thu Jun 7 00:44:02 2007
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June 7, 2007 Jack Valenti’s Memoir Suffers Without a Key Salesman By
DAVID M. HALBFINGER

LOS ANGELES, June 6 — Jack Valenti’s death has created a marketing
problem that would have challenged even him.

Mr. Valenti, a onetime Houston advertising man who became a confidant
of President Lyndon B. Johnson and then, for nearly four decades,
Hollywood’s spokesman as chairman of the Motion Picture Association
of America, died on April 26, just weeks before the release of his
new memoir. Now his publisher, Harmony Books, and his survivors are
struggling to ensure that the autobiography gets a modicum of the
attention it would have received had Mr. Valenti, a singular raconteur,
been around to talk it up himself.

Shaye Areheart, vice president and publisher of Harmony, an imprint of
the Crown Publishing Group, said she last saw Mr. Valenti in February,
when the two met to go over a second set of revisions and plans for
promoting the book, “This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White
House and Hollywood.”

“He was like a kid in a candy shop,” Ms. Areheart said of
the 85-year-old Mr. Valenti. “We had so much lined up for him:
the ‘Today’ show. Don Imus, before he fell from grace. Larry
King. NPR. CBS and Fox News. Everyone was so drawn to Jack, and he had
so many stories to tell.”

Mr. Valenti had arranged much of the publicity himself, Ms. Areheart
said. “We mentioned ‘Regis and Kelly,’ and he said he’d call
Regis Philbin. He said he’d contact Les Moonves, Bob Wright, Roger
Ailes. He could make a phone call and get straight to the top.”

Mr. Valenti, the master networker, had also arranged to be celebrated by
his friends among the rich and powerful at book parties in New York (given
by Barry Diller), Washington (Dan Glickman, Mr. Valenti’s successor
at the Motion Picture Association, and Franco Nuschese, owner of the
Georgetown power spot Café Milano), and Los Angeles (Kirk Douglas,
Mr. Valenti’s closest Hollywood friend, and Robert A. Day Jr., founder
of Trust Company of the West).

But his death left Harmony in a costly, and awkward, bind. The book was
the imprint’s lead summer title, with an initial printing of 100,000
copies, and Harmony had bought front-of-store display space in the major
booksellers for the two weeks before Father’s Day. “We had an enormous
investment in Jack,” Ms. Areheart said. She would not disclose what
he had been paid, but called it a “significant advance.”

Harmony sought to capitalize on the coverage of Mr. Valenti’s death by
shipping the book to retailers early, to go on sale May 15, three weeks
before the scheduled on-sale date of June 5. Nielsen BookScan said only
1,000 copies had been sold through June 3 — a grim indication, since
the first sales are often the strongest. (BookScan captures about 70
percent of book sales.) But confusion over the correct day to display
the title could have made those early numbers less predictive, some
industry executives speculated.

Many books are published posthumously of course, like David Halberstam’s
book on the Korean War, due this fall. This is not the first time an
author’s death has created a publisher’s nightmare: In 1992 Sam
Walton, the billionaire founder of Wal-Mart, died after having signed a
$4 million contract with Doubleday for his memoirs. And Virginia Clinton
Kelley, President Clinton’s mother, died in 1994 four months before her
memoir was to be published. Mr. Walton’s book, written with John Huey,
became a best seller anyway; Ms. Kelley’s did not.

Mr. Valenti’s book recounts his bootstraps rise from modest means
in Houston; his bombing runs as a World War II pilot; his place in the
motorcade when President John F. Kennedy was shot; his close relationship
with Johnson; and his tenure in Hollywood as a starry-eyed but fierce
advocate. It includes little that is newsworthy — no salacious
anecdotes or score-settling barbs, which comes as no surprise, given
Mr. Valenti’s reputation for seldom speaking ill of anyone. What it
had to grab attention, in a word, was him, and he’d promised to devote
all of June and July to publicizing the book.

In his absence Ms. Areheart has been working with Mr. Valenti’s
daughter, Courtenay, a movie executive at Warner Brothers, to line up
surrogates from among her father’s friends in Washington and Hollywood,
something she said was a welcome distraction from her own grieving. So
far, a Harmony publicist said, “Today” has agreed to interview
Ms. Valenti and her mother, Mary Margaret, and “Tavis Smiley” on
PBS has invited Sherry Lansing, the former Paramount chairwoman, to talk
about Mr. Valenti, but no other spots have been confirmed.

“It’s awkward,” Ms. Valenti said. “For a lot of these different
outlets, it’s harder for them to make the show interesting. We know that
talking to us is not what people want.” She added that no celebrity or
politician would be able to do justice to the full sweep of her father’s
life. “We’re all dealing with the reality that the best salesperson
for the book was Daddy.”

Ms. Valenti, meanwhile, was able to prevail upon one very famous friend
of her father’s, Michael Douglas, to stand in for him in the audio
version of “This Time, This Place.” (Mr. Valenti suffered a stroke
a week before he was to begin recording the audio version in March.)

“I’m in the movie business, so I know what it is to ask
somebody to do something like that, knowing how busy he is,
and how long it takes to do,” Ms. Valenti said. It took
Mr. Douglas three days. “But Michael, without batting an
eye, said: ‘Don’t give it another thought. I’ll do it
immediately.’ ”

Ms. Areheart said she regretted allowing Mr. Valenti to delay
publication several times as he dredged up fond memories and
thought up new chapters. “I kept saying, ‘Jack, let it go,’
” she said. If she’d only stuck to a March date, she said,
“he’d have been able to enjoy it.”

--
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attacted at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt. I guess you missed that one."

  1. 2007-06-01 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [dyfet-at-gnu.org: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] June 6th]
  2. 2007-06-01 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need some help
  3. 2007-06-01 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need some help
  4. 2007-06-01 WWWhatsup <joly-at-dti.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] BROOKLYN BROADBAND HEARING: isoc-ny webcast
  5. 2007-06-02 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Freedom stuff
  6. 2007-06-06 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [chief-at-freesoftwaremagazine.com: More news from
  7. 2007-06-06 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Valenti Dead - Imus Lives
  8. 2007-06-07 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Valenti Dead - Imus Lives
  9. 2007-06-07 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Valenti Dead - Imus Lives
  10. 2007-06-09 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS book project.
  11. 2007-06-09 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS book project.
  12. 2007-06-10 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS book project.
  13. 2007-06-10 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS book project.
  14. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Why is healthcare software costing lives?
  15. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Why is healthcare software costing lives?
  16. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Why is healthcare software costing lives?
  17. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Why is healthcare software costing lives?
  18. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: inquiry from Linux.com
  19. 2007-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Panel on Healthcare Digital Information Systems,
  20. 2007-06-22 Michael <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting

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