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Monday 22 September 2014

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For Samuelson, “You Can’t Dream Big Enough” was primarily a chance to record his remembrances of six colorful and (he says) unlikely decades on the air after 20 years of procrastinating. But even a near-lifetime in the public eye and ear, he says, was scant preparation for this latest undertaking.

Fee disputes between content providers and multi-channel distributors have become more common in recent years, especially as local broadcast and sports networks ask for bigger cuts of the profits. SNL Kagan estimates that the retransmission fees that local network affiliates charge cable and satellite providers will increase from $2.36 billion this year to $6 billion in 2018. That’s still less than a dollar per network affiliate and would still make the combined monthly cost of transmitting local ABC, NBC, CBS (CBS), Fox and CW channels less than that of ESPN.

“I have been so critical of people who haven’t been straight with me over the years that it didn’t even occur to me to not say something that might be uncomfortable for me.”

“I never thought I would ever write a book,” he says. “This book was not written because I wanted to say something to somebody or target anybody. I wrote this because I retired and, for the first time in 50 years, could kind of sit back and think about where I had been and what my business had been like for all this time. … The only motivation was cathartic. I felt a lot that I didn’t have time to stop and think [about] and feel [before].”

“I wrote it because it needed to be told,” she says. “And I have to be honest, there were some chapters that I cried through… because I was making myself the vulnerable person that I never was.”

That said, she recalls a time in the mid-’90s when her former Illinois Senate colleague Barack Obama’s memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” languished on bargain tables. After his momentous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and during his historic run for the presidency thereafter, it landed on bestseller lists and ultimately made millions of dollars. Not that she’s expecting a similar rocket ride for “Playing Ball.”

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