View Full Version : Judith Regan's Fall From Grace

12-16-2006, 06:06 AM
I was one of those who thought Judith Regan would escape unscathed from the O.J. debacle. Looks like I was wrong.

www.nytimes.com/2006/12/15/business/media/15cnd-regan.html?hp&ex=1166245200&en=6b6274ecb722b597&ei=5094&partner=homepage (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/15/business/media/15cnd-regan.html?hp&ex=1166245200&en=6b6274ecb722b597&ei=5094&partner=homepage)

12-16-2006, 06:10 AM

Did NOT see that coming. Figured anyone who knows how to make money in publishing like Judith clearly does is safe regardless of her... er... eccentricities. That's wild. I wonder where she'll end up.

12-16-2006, 06:29 AM
What Rupert wants, Rupert gets.

12-16-2006, 06:36 AM
It says that it was announced by Jane Friedman who has had a strained relationship with Judith Reagan. Maybe she was just looking for an excuse?

I too was surprised.


William Haskins
12-16-2006, 06:43 AM
she made murdoch a lot of money. their current protestations notwithstanding, this was completely about the OJ fiasco, in my opinion.

Sheryl Nantus
12-16-2006, 07:16 AM
the entire project was a huge embarassment for all involved - someone had to take the fall and I'm not surprised it was her.

I'm sure the National Enquirer will be offering her a job.


Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-16-2006, 07:17 AM
Looks kinda scapegoaty to me. You know she didn't take that book/tv special as far as it got without someone above her knowing and approving.

12-16-2006, 07:40 AM
Hmmm...has Rupert been planning changes, and found a suitable time and place to do it? Was it the supposed groundswell of public and industry opinion?

Perhaps all of these. She was a moneymaker for Rupert, yet she was almost universally despised (and most certainly with the staff at ReganBooks), according to some reports. The hubris, the arrogance - she reportedly told her staff that she was the only one in the company that had a cock - led to her downfall. The OJ debacle was a serious misstep, and the knives came out. This time, Ruport listened to the naysayers,despite the money she made for Rupert. She was summarily dismissed, and in the most brutal and rude manner too. Did she argue with Rupert? I wonder if she was informed before the press was? She might have thrived in the book publishing world, and especially the Murdoch environment, but despite being picked up by some other major media organisation, she might not be able to weave the same magic.It is tough at the top.As my mother always said, be good to those you meet on your way 'up', because you'll surely meet them later on your way 'down'.

12-16-2006, 10:57 AM
Thanks for posting this.

Did you hear about her latest project, The Mickey Mantle Novel (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6399499.html?display=breaking), as reported in PW and various blogs? Yikes. It's supposed to be an "inventive memoir" written by a novelist writing in Mickey Mantle's POV. Huh?! Industry experts have referred to it as "vile," "porn," etc. The book includes stories he was told, plus dirty jokes, etc.

One word:

I guess they're getting away with it because you can't libel the dead, right? But ... sheesh. Anyway, what do you think of this... uhm... project?

To be honest, I recently bought several historical novels narrated by famous people, such as Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth I. Thist type of novel often shows sexual exploits that may not have happened (and often didn't). But I see no problem with that. Then again, these are people who have been dead for hundreds of years. There's a major difference between reading about Queen Elizabeth I having an alleged tryst in a novel and reading a "memoir" written by someone who died just a few years ago and whose descendants are very much alive (and written by some guy who claims he heard these stories for real).

12-16-2006, 06:41 PM
Sometimes I can't help myself, and Schadenfreude takes over. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Although I sincerely doubt she was the only deserving person in this whole disgusting story.

12-16-2006, 06:48 PM
I just knew there was going to have to be a scapegoat in all this, and I'm not really surprised it was her. She'll bounce back; beasts of Satan usually do. ;)

12-16-2006, 07:21 PM
How incredibly hypocritical. I don't believe for one second that the higher-ups at Harper, including Murdoch, weren't fully aware of what she was doing. Now they're playing CYA and pretending to take the high road. If the whole thing hadn't backfired, they'd be counting their shekels and rubbing their hands.

Harper is going to be very, very sorry. I believe her imprint was one of its most consistently profitable.

- Victoria

12-16-2006, 08:04 PM
she reportedly told her staff that she was the only one in the company that had a cock

I don't imagine her male employees took that one well.


12-16-2006, 08:33 PM
I've seen a lot of corporate politics, so although this is hypothetical, I bet there were plenty of people at Harpers / News who were really, really against the OJ deal to start with. (How couldn't there be?) Possibly Regan was not just rude, as people have been saying, but possibly she not only squashed opinions and egos but slanted her market research in such a way to make it look as if there wouldn't be as much negative reaction as there actually was. Or didn't do any research at all...?

I believe the decision to fire her was the right one - someone has to fall for this - and she was the champion. If it had done well, she would have taken home the big fat bonus.

Kind regards
Victoria Grossack

Tish Davidson
12-17-2006, 11:23 PM
So far, the press seems pretty negative on the Mickey Mantle "inventive memoir." I wonder if this controversial book following so closely on the OJ debacle is what pushed her out the door.

12-18-2006, 12:28 AM
When I saw this story I emailed Neal Boortz about it and asked if he'd ever spoken with her (not that he's likely to read my email out of a thousand others per day he gets).

Neal Boortz (http://boortz.com) is a syndicated talkshow host who a couple years ago was co-writing a book on taxes with Congressman John Linder. While looking for a publisher he signed with Regan Books, but he had to sign a contract to also write a second book NOT on taxes, basically because no one was going to buy a book on taxes. "The Fair Tax Book" turned out to be more popular than anyone expected, and has helped spur the biggest tax reform movement in a long while.

In the past six months or so, Boortz has occasionally discussed writing his second book of the contract, titled "Somebody's Gotta Say It." When the OJ book/interview deal was announced, Boortz said he was so unhappy that Regan was publishing the OJ book that he was considering breaking his contract with Regan and going with another publisher for his new book. He was of course far from the only one making negative noises about the deal. It was that afternoon when they announced the OJ deal was off.

Last week Boortz was saying his manuscript for the new book was due Saturday night (and scheduled to be published in February), that he was in the middle of rewriting one or more chapters, spending all his free time on it, and he didn't sound sure he was going to make it, but I have little doubt he did. He's on a short vacation and comes back on the air Tuesday, and will no doubt have something to say about Judith Regan and those who fired her. There's sure to be a short blurb about it on his daily program notes/"Nuze" page (http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html) Tuesday.

12-18-2006, 11:12 AM
Some recent and very interesting news which sheds further light on her 'fall from grace'.

It wasn't that she argued with Rupert, but, according to this report, that she argued - and less than civilly - with the organisation's chief legal counsel, and on the matter of the Mantle book. This 'tipped the balance', and she was shafted in no short time. Doesn't pay to argue with Rupert's right hand legal counsel...


12-18-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks for that link! Here are another two-- oddly, both from the NY Times, both from today, both in the business section:



12-20-2006, 08:25 AM
That woman scares the bejeezus out of me.

12-20-2006, 11:27 AM
From Galleycat:

It's Day Four (or three and a half?) and already I'm exhausted trying to keep track of all developments Regan-related. But most of the focus has zeroed in on what Judith Regan said in the now-infamous telephone conversation with HarperCollins lawyer Mark Jackson that was the proximate cause for her abrupt dismissal - especially now that NewsCorp has gone ahead and released a statement concerning the contents of Jackson's notes during the telephone conversation, which became increasingly heated as Regan & Jackson discussed the future of Peter Golenbock's controversial "fictitious memoir" of Mickey Mantle.

To sum up, let's borrow the lede from AP's piece by Hillel Italie: "In an explosive telephone argument that led to her firing, publisher Judith Regan allegedly complained of a 'Jewish cabal' against her in the book industry and stated that Jews 'should know about ganging up, finding common enemies and telling the big lie.'" But that's not all: the statement, released by Newscorp spokesmen Andrew Butcher & Gary Ginsberg, stated that Regan's alleged comments about the "cabal" centered around Jane Friedman, executive editor David Hirshey, ICM uberagent Esther Newberg and Jackson "constitute a Jewish cabal against her." (Are these the unnamed individuals Regan had in mind when she accused HarperCollins personnel of badmouthing her to the media within earshot of Ron last week? Only she knows for sure, and she's not telling.)

12-20-2006, 02:14 PM
Despite Regan's attaching her 'Jewish cabal' comments to those within the company who were and are Jewish, the conspiracy element she mentioned is apparently not confined to comments by just Regan. As a man in my twenties, I met a well-known Australian author who seemed to honestly believe that many Jewish people were behind a plot to control much of western popular culture. Or this is the gist from what is now a dim memory.It certainly raised my eyebrows, being the first time I had encountered this view/attitude.

J.S Greer
12-20-2006, 02:36 PM
Im all for her losing her job. What a tasteless move on her part...

12-20-2006, 06:55 PM
Maybe she should publish Mel Gibson's memoirs next. Rimshot and :rolleyes:

Actually I wouldn't inflict her upon him even when he gets drunk and says stupid things. But OJ and Judith Regan did seem like a match made in... Bizarroworld.