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Ken Auletta
Ken Auletta
Media Columnist, The New Yorker
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Ken Auletta
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Staff writer of The New Yorker and author of 11 books, including five national bestsellers, Ken Auletta is “the James Bond of the media world,” as BusinessWeek put it. His high-profile interviews and commentary have been a staple of our culture for decades, providing a roadmap for where society has been and where it’s going. In ranking him as America’s premier media commentator, the Columbia Journalism Review concluded, “No other reporter has covered the news communication business as thoroughly.”

In his award-winning “Annals of Communications,” Auletta writes on the future of media and communication, and the disruption it brings to our lives. He chronicles major events and explores the powerful people shaping the Internet, social media, television, Hollywood, newspaper, publishing and technology industries. His profiles have revealed with unique intimacy the inner-workings of such famous media personalities as Rupert Murdoch, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Harvey Weinstein, Barry Diller, the editors and publisher of The New York Times, and Bill Gates. His profile of Ted Turner, “The Lost Tycoon,” won a National Magazine Award as the Year’s Best Profile.

Auletta’s latest book, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by BusinessWeek. His other national bestsellers include Greed and Glory on Wall Street, named one of the “Best books about Wall Street” by Yahoo Finance; Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Superhighway; and World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies.

For his 12th book, Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Industry, and Everything Else, Auletta decided to “Follow the money” of the advertising and marketing industry, and reports on the many newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations – as well as digital enterprises it supports. Frenemies will be released in June 2018.

Auletta’s ability to be welcomed in rarely-visited sanctums has allowed him to take readers into a judge’s chambers during the Microsoft Trials, a Murdoch and John Malone business summit negotiation, Viacom board meetings, New York Times front page deliberations, and White House communications team meetings. The stunning interviews he conducted with the federal judge who presided over the Microsoft Antitrust Case were cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the judge’s decision.

Auletta has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, been named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, has for several decades been a National Judge of the Annual Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, and was selected one of the 20th century’s top 100 business journalists by a distinguished panel of his peers.

Full Bio >
  • Bloomberg Surveillance: Auletta on Amazon, Google, and Apple

  • Auletta at New Yorker Festival: Velocity of Change 
  • Auletta on Facebook
  • The Risk Behind Netflix’s Original Programming Leap 
  • Auletta interviews NY Times Editor Jill Abrams (2013)
  • Ken Auletta Talks to CNN's Piers Morgan about Rupert Murdoch (2011)
  • Ken Auletta discusses the iPad (2010)
  • Ken Auletta on Power Lunch (2009)
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Speaking Topics
Frenemies: Winners and Losers in the Advertising Wars
Disruption: Tales from the Media Battlefield

Disruptor — every company, from startups to Fortune 500s, wants to be one. Whether it’s Google, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Uber, or a parade of online education upstarts, digital disruptors are everywhere. Every established company and institution nervously looks over their shoulders, aware that disruptors strike with alarming speed. Once upon a time, it took the telephone seven decades to reach half the American population; it took electricity half a century. Yet it took the Internet less than a decade to reach half the U.S. population. Even the disruptors — Microsoft, cable companies, Wal-Mart — are disrupted. A good company is optimistic. But the other dominant emotion is fear.
In “Disruption: Tales from the Media Battlefield,” Ken Auletta draws from his decades of media coverage and shares his insights into the people and teams behind the biggest disruptions of all time. How do you recognize the next big thing? Ken Auletta has the war stories to help your audience know a disruption when they see one.

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From Mad Men to Math Men: Turmoil in the Advertising World
Leadership Is Not an Algorithm: Lessons a Journalist Has Learned
Googled: The Future of Media

Based on his book, Auletta charts how the world as we know it has ended. Google and the Web have changed the rules of the game. Auletta will discuss how Google came to be and why it has been such a disruptive force. And he will chart where Google’s future, and the future of all media, is heading.

Read More >
How Decisions Are Often Made: The Human Factor
Books & Other Works
  • Googled: The End of the World As We Know It
  • Media Man: Ted Turner's Improbable Empire
  • Backstory: Inside the Business of News
  • World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies
  • The Highwaymen
  • Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way
  • Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman
  • The Underclass
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“Ken Auletta's presentation was splendid: thoughtful, provocative, educational, and entertaining -- exactly the prescription for a college full of eager faculty and students.”
Bradley University
“Ken Auletta's knowledge, enthusiasm, generosity of spirit, and communicative abilities are just a few of the many special qualities Ken Auletta has that contributed to making this a most memorable event.”
92nd Street Y
“Great content and insight. By far the best of the speakers in addressing the true aim of the conference.”
Public Relations Society of America
“Ken Auletta characteristically cuts right to the heart of the issue. As a journalist and critic, he is an important voice.”
The University of Chicago
“The symposium went very well. Ken did a superb job helping us focus on the key questions honestly and thoughtfully. As a bonus, we discovered that he’s a real gentleman besides a fine writer and thinker, a delight in all respects. He was a hit with our faculty and students.”
Washington and Lee University
“After enjoying your speech on Monday evening, it was truly an honor to introduce you as the speaker at the breakfast on Tuesday for I had a premonition of how much we were all going to enjoy this presentation. You did not disappoint us. You were great. The half hour during breakfast when you and I shared thoughts was especially rewarding to me.”
University of Nebraska at Omaha
“...the best book (Three Blind Mice) ever written on network television.”
CBS Inc.
“Ken Auletta was wonderful. He was an informative, poised, charming speaker. At the reception afterwards, he was engaging and very open to being with people.”
Cheltenham Township Adult School
“...speech was challenging and well-received...Auletta is very much respected.”
MTV Networks
“He was excellent. Thank you.”
Southern Methodist University
“...our attendees found much 'food for thought' in your speech.”
“...Your talk did just what we wanted it to do, that is, set the stage for more in-depth discussions about technology and its uses in campus fund raising, alumni relations, and communications. Although we have a long way to go to make maximum use of technology in our work, it's talks like yours that will get us where we want to be.”
Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
Corporate Culture
Executive Development
Human Resources
Information Technology
New Media
Organizational Change
Social Media
Social Trends