His columns have covered a variety of subjects including the lucrative fees paid to journalists for speeches; profiles of media powers such as Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, investment banker Herbert Allen, Seagram’s and M.C.A. C.E.O. Edgar Bronfman Sr., Tele-Communications Inc. C.E.O. John Malone; the rise in T.V. violence; and political giving from communication companies seeking legislative change in Washington. Corporation of Public Broadcasting President Richard Carlson has said that, “If telecommunications is the Wild West of the late 20th century, then Ken Auletta is its Frederick Remington. His word portraits of the players and the playing fields conjure up an almost romantic vision of the next great frontier.”
Mr. Auletta had also been a contributing writer for the magazine from 1977 to 1985. His articles included profiles of Mayor Koch, Governor Cuomo, and “The Underclass.”
Prior to writing his column for The New Yorker, Mr. Auletta was a weekly columnist at the New York Daily News from 1977 to 1993. Over the years, Mr. Auletta was a staff writer and columnist for The Village Voice, as well as a contributing editor at New York magazine. He had also been the chief political correspondent for the New York Post. His articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and Esquire.
Mr. Auletta has written six books including two national best-sellers, “Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way,” and “Greed and Glory on Wall Street.” His other books are: “The Streets Were Paved With Gold,” “Hard Feelings,” “The Underclass,” and “The Art of Corporate Success.” He has hosted numerous public television programs and served as a weekly political commentator on WNBC and WCBS television in New York. In November, 1995, PBS broadcast a “Frontline” documentary on Rupert Murdoch which Mr. Auletta narrated and co-wrote.
The early years of Mr. Auletta’s career were spent in a variety of different fields, including education, politics, and. journalism. From 1965 until 1974, his positions included Special Assistant to the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce, aide in Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, Executive Editor of the Manhattan Tribune, state campaign manager for Howard J. Samuels (candidate for Governor of New York), the first Executive Director of the New York Off Track Betting Corporation, and Peace Corps instructor.
The recipient of numerous national and local journalism honors, Mr. Auletta was selected as a Gannett Fellow at Columbia University during 1990 and as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. His awards include the Gerald Loeb Award from UCLA’s Graduate School of management, and twice he has won the Champion-Tuck award from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College.
Mr. Auletta received his B.S. degree in education from the State University College at Oswego, and his M.A. degree in political science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse. He was awarded a doctorate degree from the State University of New York in 1990. Mr. Auletta lives in Manhattan with his wife, literary agent Amanda Urban, and their daughter.