Dick Parsons: The Nightfly

Last night Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons was interviewed by BusinessWeek’s editor-in-chief Steve Adler at New York’s 92nd Street Y.

To be totally random about this:

1. What is it about media CEOs that talk really quietly? Parsons’ extremely relaxed onstage manner was underscored by his way-understated vocal volume, which made those running the audio struggling a bit, at least at first, to crank up his mike level to make him, you know, generally audible.

This is a mogul thing. Rupert Murdoch also talks incredibly quietly. Because people are going to stop everything and lean in to listen because, you know, it’s Rupert Murdoch talking.

2. Parsons on how distracting the Carl Icahn situation was: At its peak “it was taking about 30 to 40 percent of my time.”

3. Parsons on a bid to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor of NYC:


4. This Might Have Been Nice To Know Before AOL Came Calling:

“Rapidly growing companies are almost always overvalued.”

5. Nyah-Nyah, all you AOL Detractors:

On Google purchasing a 5% stake of AOL for $1 billion: “They wanted to invest more.”

6. Parsons still hearts Time Mag …

“A great brand” that just need to be “fine-tuined to be relevant to today’s reader.

7. … but does not heart the new Life Mag:

“We’re certainly trying to find out if there’s a future for it … We’re trying to find a way to revivify the brand.”

Adler: “So, at this point, you think the jury’s still out?” Parsons: “Yes.”

8. Dick Parsons Real Next Job.

Oh, he’s not about to retire, as he said, and, as he also said, he’s intrigued by some non-elective public policy thing. But, having heard Parsons talk in a darkened, relaxed setting, after hearing his soothing low tones gently waft out into the auditorium, after noting its pulse-lowering effect on the audience, I believe we now know the CEO of Time Warner’s true future calling.

The Nightfly. Dick Parsons, jazz DJ, overnights and alternate Sundays.