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amount of my time on LIFE, because it was so big, and so important,
and so meaningful. We had teams of people examining different
equations--smaller size, fortnightly--and all this had to be done in
great secrecy because you didn't want it to get out that we were
thinking in those terms. But, of course, on the inside, anybody who
was at all knowledgeable knew how serious the problem was.
And I can remember having to get a new publisher. Jerry Hardy
quit and I had to get a new publisher. And I practically had to
break Gary Valk's arm to take on the job. Because there he was,
happily, I believe, publisher of Sports Illustrated, which was by
then doing very well. Its curve had been exactly the contrary of
LIFE, because it was highly specialized and it had no competition.
It had achieved really a monopoly; there wasn't any direct
competition to it. Anyway, I broke Gary's arm and had to promise him
practically eternal pay on into heaven so that he would grudgingly
take the job. Well, it turned out to be an impossible job, and we
spent the last two years, in 1970 and 1971, working out all the
different solutions. Again, by then The Post was gone, Colliers was
gone, I think Look was gone. Look went in--what?--1968, something
They were all gone.
So here we were all alone, and in theory you would think
that we should have won the battle, but none of these steps had any
really positive effect, which tells you that the real problem was
that we couldn't compete with TV.
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