Famous for his nearly forty years in broadcast journalism, Robert MacNeil is one of the most respected television journalists in America. Now in Breaking News, a blistering, behind-the-scenes novel about the savagely competitive world of television news, he writes about this world he knows best–a world where integrity is held hostage in the relentless pursuit of the bottom line.
Anchorman Grant Munro is at what should be the pinnacle of a brilliant career. Having covered every major story from the Kennedy assassination to the Clinton sex scandals, Munro has won the admiration, respect, and trust of his viewers. About to turn sixty in an industry no longer controlled by top-notch journalists but by profit-hungry conglomerates, Munro suddenly feels his career threatened–especially when Bill Donovan, a handsome reporter with little experience but a high Q rating, vies for his anchor post. Dragged into a media circus where “soft news” and tabloid television are becoming the staples of nightly news broadcasts, Munro negotiates a minefield of scheming, greed, and betrayal to hold onto what he prizes. Acclaimed for his two previous novels, Robert MacNeil is a proven storyteller, now triumphantly on his home turf. Breaking News is not only an intimate look at a fascinating industry, but a profound study of character under pressure.
Robert MacNeil was, until his retirement in October 1995, the coanchor of PBS’s The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. His books include four nonfiction works, including his two volumes of memoir, and three novels. MacNeil was named an Officer of the Order of… More about Robert Macneil
"A provocative cri de couer at…our national news media wrapped neatly in a shiny literary package. Jim Lehrer’s loss is fiction’s gain." –Eric Alterman, New York Times Book Review
"MacNeil calls it a novel but here, in delightfully readable style, may be the best explanation yet of that which ails television news." –Walter Cronkite
"MacNeil has written a page-turning novel that gripped me and never let go until I reached the last page. On one level, it explores the collision between commerical and news values. On a deeper level, it is a rich human drama." –Ken Auletta
"Breaking News is a fly on the wall of every network newsroom. Journalistic integrity battles the bottom line and guess who wins? It’s also a study of the seduction of the not-so-innocent, with all the attendant absurdities." –Morley Safer
"This is a reporter’s notebook, a fly-on-the-wall account of what really goes on behind the facade of the television news business. And you’ll recognize a lot of today’s news heavy-hitters in the ‘fictional’ cast of characters Robert MacNeil has so entertainingly assembled." –Mike Wallace
>"A devastating portrait of American TV news." –Max Frankel