Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Of the businesses featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Comcast was very content to stay in the background,” said the business writer who authored Comcast?s unauthorized biography and will be speaking to West Chester University on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Philips Autograph Library.This writer is Joseph N. DiStefano, award-winning business writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The book is “COMCASTed: How Ralph and Brian Roberts Took Over America?s TV, One Deal at a Time.”

DiStefano?s definition of “Comcasted” includes those that cannot escape the near-monopoly cable company. These viewers need Comcast to watch the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers. They probably need Comcast if they want video-on-demand or high-speed Internet. They?ll pay for Comcast if no other service is provided in their area.

Speaking about other business writers, DiStefano said, “They?ve been covering people and companies that were easy to cover.” DiStefano also said that very often businesses only make the news if they are extremelycooperative or if something really bad happens to them.

“I knew a little bit about the company and wanted to know more,” said DiStefano. He said we wanted to disprove stereotypes that Philadelphia companies are “kind of nowhere.” DiStefano said that many Philadelphia companies have roots that stretch far back in history. “Cities, they are public, they are news,” he said.

“Ralph Roberts, joined by his son Brian, spent forty years building Comcast Corporation into the nation?s top merchant of TV news, sports, movies, and pornography,” DiStefano writes in the book?s preface.

“I saw something a little different,” said DiStefano, and then he needed to get the story. “You go to the company by the front door. Be ready to cover them whether or not they?ll talk.”

“We really aren?t used to this,” Comcast replied. DiStefano covers business stories “whether they?re nice to us… or make life difficult for us.” Ralph and Brian both declined interviews for the book. “Ralph wouldn?t talk to me. He wanted to write his own memoirs, and I hope he does,” said DiStefano.

Brian wanted to see DiStefano ?s questions first. Though DiStefano had had a bad experience in the past showing his questions, he allowed Brian to view them. Brian then declined to be interviewed. “It is true that Brian and his family are private people,” said DiStefano.

Brian also wanted to see the first chapter of DiStefano?s book before it was published. “We never show people the work before it comes out,” said DiStefano. DiStefano did not take time off from work at the Inquirer to write the book. “I did stories about the company while I was writing the book,” he said. At a book signing, the Roberts family asked DiStefano whyhe did not speak to them about the book. “Read the introduction, it?s all right there,” said DiStefano.

DiStefano got his information from old news accounts, public documents, and the Federal Communications Commission, among others. “When they meet with investors every quarter, information about the company is given to the public.

Those are transcripted,” said DiStefano. Others in or related to the company spoke to DiStefano, but “no one at Comcast presumed to speak for Ralph or Brian,” DiStefano said.

“Brian Roberts doesn?t want to sell commodities. He doesn?t want that in cable TV,” said DiStefano. “There?s other setups that might be better for the consumer,” DiStefano said, but Comcast wants to offer a service for which the public will pay a premium price.

“I?m interested in what the students have to say,” DiStefano said, in reference to his visit to campus this Tuesday. “They?ve grown up with cable TV and Internet. I don?t even get cable TV,” said DiStefano. “Life?s too short for that.”

This company has prominence. “A lot of people at West Chester want to know how companies get to be where they are,” DiStefano said.

DiStefano resides in Wilmington, Del. with his wife, Linda, and six children. DiStefano?s sixyear-old said that next time he should write an adventure story.

To that, DiStefano replied, “This is an adventure story.

Author profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *