Billionaire Eli Broad's new book, "The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking" — with a foreword by Michael Bloomberg — will be published by Wiley on May 8. It arrived in the mail yesterday and I haven't had a chance yet to check it out. An LA Times story this morning reports that Broad uses the book to say he thinks the Times will be for sale once the Tribune's bankruptcy closes — and that he's interested again.
Broad speculates that creditors who will control the company are "likely" to put The Times up for sale. "This time around," the book says, "the price should be better and the advantages of local ownership clear to all."
Broad said in an interview that he would like to "partner with others … maybe foundations or wealthy families" to take control of the newspaper. He said he has spoken to others about such an arrangement, but declined to name them.
Broad and onetime supermarket mogul Ron Burkle joined together in an attempt to purchase Tribune Co. in 2007, but they were beaten out by an $8.2-billion bid from Sam Zell, a Chicago-based real estate investor. The debt-heavy deal soon fell into financial trouble.
Broad's people are doing an interesting full-court press on the book. Their promotional emails have been more catchy than most of the book stuff I receive. Broad is also moving into social media. He writes: "After watching with fascination as social media has grown in popularity, I now have an official Facebook page and am entering the Twitter universe today. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll receive 365 days of unreasonable advice from the book. I am also writing a weekly blog on my website that I invite you to read and like on Facebook."
From his first blog entry:
Not a day goes by when I don’t think and act unreasonably. I approach every encounter—news of the day, meetings with colleagues, events around the world—through the lens of unconventional thinking, relentless curiosity, and unwavering focus.
Writing a book was a new experience for me—in much the same way as writing this blog will be. I’m often asked for my advice and perspective, and I hope to share that with you at this site. In short weekly posts, I’ll offer my take on the market, politics, current events, Los Angeles happenings, contemporary art, philanthropy, and my day-to-day life—events I attend, people I meet, and how I spend my (rare) downtime. By sharing this with you, I hope to show you what it means to live each day unreasonably, how you can apply the approach to your own life, and why the unreasonable way comes with great rewards.
Broad appears Sunday night in New York in a conversation with Charlie Rose at the 92nd Street Y.