"If you can't tell a story, you can own the television station, you can own the radio station, you can own the satellite. You'd better find somebody to tell a story or you're not going to own it for very long."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Michael Eisner speaks about starting in broadcasting as an NBC page during college. He then chronicles his early career, culminating in his being hired by Barry Diller (then Leonard Goldberg's assistant) at ABC. He discusses his quick rise through the executive ranks, where he played an important role in the network's climb to number one in the late-1970s with such programming as ABC's Movie of the Week and Happy Days. He talks about his transition to Paramount, where he oversaw Paramount Television and many of the studio's feature film successes. He then talks about his move to Disney, where he was named Chairman and CEO. He discusses how he planned to resurrect the studio, which had been "coasting" since Walt Disney's death 17 years earlier, and how he took a hands-on role at Touchstone Television. He also discusses the Disney-ABC merger, which he felt was crucial to the success of Disney as a whole. He then recounts his decision to leave Disney in 2005 and spoke briefly about his current projects and the state of the television industry today. Dan Pasternack conducted the two-part interview in Beverly Hills, CA on October 19 and 20, 2006.