Interviews

 

Thomas Murphy

Former CEO Cap Cities

Thomas Murphy on the role of the advertising agency in the television business in the '50s

02:39

In the first year at ABC we lost seventy million dollars, but by the next year we started to make money. By the time we sold it we were making about four hundred million dollars. It's a high-risk business. It's a tough business. Disney made a good deal.

About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Thomas Murphy speaks of his early years at WROW-TV in New York. He recalls being appointed the CEO of Capital Cities, and talks of overseeing the ownership of many television stations, dozens of cable-TV systems, and later, the acquisition of the ABC network. Murphy describes the balance of business between the station owners, networks and viewers, and the ever-changing telecommunications business. He outlines his relationships with many in the broadcasting and business community, including Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett, Barbara Walters, and then ABC President John B. Sias. He concludes by talking about the acquisition of ABC by Disney in 1995 and the then-media landscape. Donald West conducted the interview on October 22, 1998 in New York City, New York.

In the first year at ABC we lost seventy million dollars, but by the next year we started to make money. By the time we sold it we were making about four hundred million dollars. It's a high-risk business. It's a tough business. Disney made a good deal.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Thomas Murphy on the role of the advertising agency in the television business in the '50s

Thomas Murphy on the role of the advertising agency in the television business in the '50s

02:39
Embedded thumbnail for Thomas Murphy on taking over as CEO of Capital Cities

Thomas Murphy on taking over as CEO of Capital Cities

06:02
Embedded thumbnail for Thomas Murphy on Capital Cities acquisition of ABC

Thomas Murphy on Capital Cities acquisition of ABC

07:24
Embedded thumbnail for Thomas Murphy on how Disney's acquisition of ABC came about

Thomas Murphy on how Disney's acquisition of ABC came about

05:39
Embedded thumbnail for Thomas Murphy on his personal success in business

Thomas Murphy on his personal success in business

02:06