Rather Says Hd Net Will Give Him "Unprecedented" Freedom
Dan Rather said Tuesday that he agreed to appear on billionaire Mark Cuban's HD Net after Cuban assured him that he would have "complete, absolute and total creative and editorial control" over his programs. He told reporters attending the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA that to be given that sort of free hand was "unprecedented in my own career." At CBS, he observed, he was forced to deal with "a chain of command that looks like the wiring of a nuclear plant." But on HD Net, he said, "the chain of command begins and ends with me." Cuban, who became rich during the days of the Internet "bubble" by selling his online company before it burst, said that he was aiming to offer an antidote to what currently passes for news. "We've got such a bad case of Internet and broadband ... where everyone thinks the Internet is the cure, and we've forgotten about what journalism is about." Meanwhile, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw described Rather's departure from CBS as "a train wreck you could see coming for months."