What Makes Business Rock: Building the World s Largest Global Networks

WHAT MAKES BUSINESS ROCK is a business book disguised as a memoir.

March 10, 2014 11:27 IST | India Infoline News Service

Title: What Makes Business Rock: Building the World s Largest Global Networks

Author:  Bill Roedy, David Fisher

Pages: 289, Hardback

Price: US$27.95 (This price is valid for India)

Publication Date: May 2011

Published by John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.

“When Bill Roedy took the job,” said Bob Geldof, “he made an immediate and profound executive decision: He would take MTV and its core proposition that pop music was the universal lingua franca of youth, internationalize it and create a discreet vehicle for change, understanding and good whilst also making great business in the process. MTV has changed since then, so has the world, and Bill is one of those people responsible for that change. He is a remarkable man!”

Bill Roedy has been the architect of MTV Networks global expansion over the past 20 years and is one of the entertainment industry’s most prominent and respected executives. In his new book, WHAT MAKES BUSINESS ROCK: Building the World’s Largest Global Networks, Roedy talks about how he built a single channel into the largest media network in the world, a network which included 200 channels and 200 digital properties in 175 nations, and all the colorful and varied people he met along the way.

As a West Point graduate who served in combat in Vietnam and commanded nuclear missile bases in Italy, Roedy was an unlikely choice to build the best known music entertainment brand in the world. As a child, Bill was enthralled by the power of television so much so that he would memorize the TV Guide and recite the schedule back to his mother. After his military career and gaining his MBA from Harvard, rather than getting a high paying corporate job like his classmates, Roedy followed his dream and took his first job at a small start-up cable network called HBO. From there the rest is history, literally!

During his career Roedy met and had dealings with at least 30 heads of state, nine Nobel Peace Prize winners and some of the most renowned businessmen in the world. Roedy may well be the most traveled executive in the world and a single trip might be measured in the distance from walking the red carpet with 50 Cent to dinner in an Arabian tent, from walking through an African village helping distribute HIV materials to becoming the first member of the business community to be invited to address the UN General Assembly the following day.

Among the numerous well known individuals he writes about are Sumner Redstone, Robert Maxwell, Jeff Bewkes, Nelson Mandela, Jiang Zemin, Fidel Castro, Tony Blair, Bono, Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Russell Brand, the Dalai Lama and many more.

Roedy built MTV Networks by following one simple principle: Break all the rules! Living up to his rebellious rule, Roedy made some bold decisions including getting MTV behind controversial causes such as HIV/Aids, a cause he is still very committed to. It was Bill Roedy who pioneered the localism movement evolving into the now common word Glocal, meaning think local but act global.  He put an emphasis on putting local VJs on the air from as many different countries as possible and respecting the local audience by including culturally relevant programming, such as a 5-time daily call to prayer in Muslim countries. Roedy brought much needed attention to other social issues such as human trafficking, climate change and the importance of voting in the Rock the Vote campaign, just to name a few.

The stories are too numerous to tell in a few pages, but in the book Roedy tells anecdotes and lessons about:

  • Being in East Berlin and contributing to the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • The business reasons that MTV created a ‘local global’ network and how it operated
  • Calming P. Diddy down when he demanded Alicia Keyes be pulled from stage so he could go on
  • How he ended up being called ‘the modern Peter the Great’ by the Mayor of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, and ended on the floor of the Winter Palace wrestling the Vice-Mayor
  • Singing karaoke with Bono and Bob Geldof dressed as a nurse in Tokyo at 4a.m.
  • Why he was on the cover of tabloids supposedly getting married to Naomi Campbell
  • How he built the first western entertainment channel in Russia and China
  • How he ended up addressing the United Nations three times–while wearing sneakers!
  • The lessons he learned from Nelson Mandela
  • Walking through a barricade of Russian tanks to meet with the President of Lithuania
  • What happened when it was suggested Nickelodeon dress Dora the Explorer in a burka
  • Deciding the etiquette of whether to chew or swallow live fish when eating with Japanese clients
  • Singing opera and toasting Moutai with Mongolian cable operators in the Forbidden City

And much, much more…

WHAT MAKES BUSINESS ROCK is a business book disguised as a memoir.  Whether you read it for business and leadership lessons or to learn about the fascinating career and people Bill Roedy met along the way, it’s an entertaining, informative and educational read.  It’s a rollicking, free-wheeling rock & rolling tale filled with incredible characters and amazing stories

About the Authors:

Bill Roedy was chairman and chief executive of MTV Networks International. In this role, he ran all of MTV Networks' global multimedia operations for the brands MTV: including Music Television, Nickelodeon, VH-1, VIVA, TMF: The Music Factory, Game One, Comedy Central, and Paramount Comedy. Under his leadership MTV International launched more channels around the globe than any other network cable provider. He also has received numerous honors for his corporate and personal contributions to a range of humanitarian causes including the Global Citizen of the Year Award from United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA), presented by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his work in HIV/AIDS outreach and for addressing key issues that affect young people around the world in 2009, and in 2008 the Doctors of the World Health and Human Rights Leadership Award, in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in the cause of health and human rights. After 23 years at MTV International, Roedy has been asked to become that foundation’s first Envoy for the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations foundation (GAVI). Launched in 2000, primarily with $750 million donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI focuses on saving the lives of children by getting them the vaccines they need, which have included everything from measles to polio.  In addition he is actively committed to raising awareness for amfAR

About Wiley:

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is a legal family that has been a valued source of information and understanding for over 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry, Physics and Peace.

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