Johnnie L. Roberts

Big Media And The Big Story

One of Dwight D. Eisenhower's most enduring acts as president was his warning about the dangers of the 'military industrial complex'--the cozy ties between a weapons-hungry Pentagon and the nation's business-hungry defense contractors.

The Economic Fallout

With the linked global financial markets plunged into chaos following the horrific terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, nervous investors, seeking a safe haven, sent the price of gold skyrocketing in the aftermath of the attacks.While U.S. financial officials scrambled to assure the public that markets and money supplies would be protected, there was concern about the lasting impact of the attacks.

The Disc That Saved Hollywood

You'd think that, at 64, the decidedly dated Snow White would be headed for retirement. Disney has milked $1.1 billion out of the perky princess since "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" first arrived in 1937, rereleasing the movie eight times in theaters for each successive generation, and then selling millions of videotapes in two "limited" releases.

The House Of Grubman

When Allen Grubman's daughter got kicked out of prep school years ago, the high-powered music lawyer knew just what to do: he made a few phone calls and got her enrolled in another (and still another when she flamed out of that one--and another after that).

Moving In On Ma Bell

Brian Roberts was seated so close to the basketball court that he could have read the inscriptions tattooed on Allen Iverson, the Philadelphia 76ers superstar.

Rumble In The Media Jungle

Buffy the vampire slayer's latest moves have left her fans gasping for breath. In her five seasons on the WB network, the sultry agent of good has killed dozens of night stalkers and demons, and even managed to finish high school and matriculate at UC, Sunnydale.

This Space Available

"The Runner" seems to fit the times. In the new ABC reality show, hidden cameras follow a "runner" (though the whole trip isn't made on foot) as he or she travels across America.

Cradle To Grave Tv

Months ago, WB network CEO Jamie Kellner greenlit "The Oblongs," one of the more bizarre projects ever slated for prime-time television. The upcoming cartoon series on the AOL Time Warner-owned WB is a wicked satire showcasing a family of misfits living in a toxic valley.

A Tough Season

It was supposed to have been another buoyant night for Dick Ebersol. The chairman of NBC Sports had settled into the cramped production trailer outside the Coliseum in L.A.

Megawatt Mogulfest

Talk about a chance encounter. It was a megawatt group of Masters of the Media Universe, and what they might have been plotting is anybody's guess. In any case, there they were-AOL Time Warner's chairman Steve Case, CEO Jerry Levin, the company's co-chief operating officer Richard Parson and Chief Financial Officer Mike Kelly-assembled all at once in the 29th-floor executive sanctum of the world's media behemoth.Nothing unusual there, except maybe that Case had ventured up to the newly combined...

All For One, One For Aol

Last summer, months before the Federal Trade Commission approved America Online's $110 billion merger with Time Warner, a new arrival at the Manhattan headquarters of the world's largest media and entertainment company had executives there buzzing.

Mr. Rap Goes To Washington

The impresario of the hip-hop revolution never seemed interested in politics. He liked casual urban fashions, sleek women and the millions that could be made from tirelessly promoting the edgy new street music called rap.

Creating Static For Aol

Few have seen "the video," as Disney's latest production is known around Washington. But what they remember is a truly scary movie: an apocalyptic, though speculative, vision of a combined AOL and Time Warner.

Edgar's Exit Strategy

If Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. ever sweated, he was cool enough to do it in private. Since the mid-1990s, the part-time songwriter labored to turn his family's booze empire into a global entertainment giant.

As Ted's World Turns

Ted Turner was basking in the world's attention. Much of the globe, it seemed, turned out last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his genius invention, CNN, the 24-hour cable-news channel.

Bmg: Behind The Music

After starting slowly, the party pulsates into the wee hours in the presidential suite at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Music honchos dance between the staid furnishings.

For Sale By Owner?

Tall, lean and confident, Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. bounds onto a ballroom stage at the Sheraton Hotel in New York last week. Although he has a cold, he's there to deliver a speech on the prospects of the music business in the wired world.

How To Use A Lifeline

On a recent Wednesday night Patricia Fili-Krushel, ABC's president, lingers in the monitor-packed control room of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." The contestant, a bearded mathematician, confidently answers question after question, bearing down on the $1 million prize.

Rap's Unlikely King

In the lead limo, Lyor Cohen, co-president of Island Def Jam, is the first to notice the ominous noise overhead. A police helicopter hovers above the caravan carrying rapper Jay-Z, one of the label's stars, to a performance at an overflowing Norfolk, Va., nightclub. "You hear the cop-ta?" Cohen says, his accent one part Israeli, one part street.Where a less aggressive entertainment exec might see trouble, Cohen--who climbed to rap's highest levels by relentlessly promoting such artists as Run...

Desperately Seeking A Deal

There Were High-Fives All Around After Aol Unveiled Its Plan To Buy Time Warner. But Aol Had Been Eying Other Suitors, And The Deal Was Driven As Much By Fear Of Being Left Out As By Any Shared Vision.

Under The Gun

It would hardly be a happy holiday tale. On the night after Christmas, trouble was stirring around rap mogul Sean (Puffy) Combs and his actress girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

The Day The Music Stopped

Arista CEO Clive Davis may have the sharpest ears in the music industry. For more than a quarter of a century the record executive has been keenly in tune with the nation's musical taste, launching such rock giants as Janis Joplin and Billy Joel.

Puffy's Crowded Orbit

On Aug. 24, the nation's record stores were piled high with 1.5 million copies of "Forever," Puff Daddy's second album. Puff, the rap superstar, meticulously primed his fans with a grueling 32-city promotional blitz.

Suing Hollywood's Suits

The truth is out there. Yet in "The X-Files's" bizarre world of alien invaders, FBI Agent Mulder has yet to find it, even after seven seasons in the starring role in the hit Fox television series.

She's Out Of Friends

Young, striking and powerful, Jamie Tarses has embodied the glamorous face of the media business since she was appointed president of ABC Entertainment three years ago.

Wrestling For Dollars

In the heat of battle, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the antihero of the wildly popular World Wrestling Federation, often bellows, "you're a-- is mine!" Soon, fans of professional wrestling can claim a share of his bulky hide.