The Buzz

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The pre-publication hype made James Stewart's just-out "DisneyWar" seem like the business press' Brad-Jen breakup (pre-Carly, that is). But The Buzz breathlessly reveals it more than lives up to the hype-at least the first 165 pages, which is all we've read by deadline. So far it totally rules for boardroom dish, and we haven't even gotten to the good parts! We're barely up to Tax Day 1994 and already Jeffrey Katzenberg is proclaiming "I'm the Walt Disney of today" and "I am Michael Eisner!" while Michael Eisner, between weekly one-on-one dinners with Katzenberg, quietly readies the guillotine.

There are a lot of guillotines in "DisneyWar." Mr. Stewart's fortune is that the book comes out as the world readies Eisner's. Oh, he survived this year's annual meeting without major fireworks, unlike last year. But there's an expiration date stamped on his forehead, and it's not just for his planned exit next year. Eisner's the last of the big, swinging media conglomerate CEOs. (Only generational holdovers like Redstone and Murdoch still survive.) It's been a bad few months for him, what with the Ovitz trial and this book. Not exactly the kind of valedictory he wished for. The Buzz hasn't gotten to the best part of the book yet, but the rest of the world hasn't gotten to the best part of the story yet-the final tumble of one of the last media titans. We just get to watch it happen day-by-day, in old-media speed.

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