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High Wire Act. Ted Rogers and the Empire that Debt Built

  • ID: 2329180
  • Book
  • March 2011
  • 544 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Ted Rogers, for decades, has walked a high wire in a constantly evolving industry, and has rarely fallen. Known for being persuasive, tenacious and driven, his success has lined the coffers of his company––and his shareholders′ pockets.

Building a telecom empire was perhaps preordained, part of a lost legacy inherited from a father who possessed vision and genius––and died too young. Ted Rogers, also his father′s namesake, picked up the torch and wrote his own version of communications history in Canada.

In High Wire Act, Caroline van Hasselt offers a rich and layered story about the man who heads up the Rogers empire. By all accounts genetically wired as an entrepreneur, Rogers grew his small company into the giant it is today to the surprise––and chagrin––of competitors like BCE.

The trajectory of his life mirrors the explosive growth in a rocket–fueled industry that has seen few survivors––and surviving the almost continuous wars surrounding telecom, technology and media convergence has taken its toll on Rogers. Ill health. Near bankruptcy. The vitriol of competitors––and even from within his own ranks. Public outcry over poor customer service and bully tactics.

How much more history will Ted Rogers make? What will be his next conquest? The bets are on that a life′s work is not complete for a man driven to compete and win in an unforgiving business for more than fifty years. Admire him or revile him, Ted Rogers sits astride how modern society communicates. It is a fascinating life′s work that is about to unfold in these pages.

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Acknowledgments v

Prologue: Not Your Average Cable Guy ix

Act One: Radio

Chapter 1: 3BP 3

Chapter 2: Club 405 19

Chapter 3: Rogers, Bassett and the BBG 29

Chapter 4: 680 Radio 45

Chapter 5: "The Hardest Fight of My Life" 63

Act Two: Cable

Chapter 6: The Cable Guy 81

Chapter 7: Enter Phil Lind, the Banks and the CRTC 95

Chapter 8: Predatory Strike 113

Chapter 9: Taking on America: Part I: Urban Oil Wells 135

Chapter 10: Taking on America: Part II: A Hell of a Marriage 157

Chapter 11: Taking on America: Part III: Hell on Wheels 169

Act Three: Wireless

Chapter 12: Cutting the Cord: The Birth of Cantel 199

Chapter 13: Twelve Months to Launch 233

Chapter 14: The Put 259

Chapter 15: Ownership Gambit 285

Act Four: Riverboat Gambler

Chapter 16: Unitel: Here We Go Again 297

Chapter 17: Blood Sport 319

Chapter 18: WAVE Good–Bye 337

Chapter 19: The Terrible Nineties 355

Chapter 20: Fido, Heel 383

Chapter 21: A Mug s Game 405

Chapter 22: The Five Final Years 427

Chapter 23: Are You Rogered? 453

Epilogue: Vindication 465

Appendix: A Ted Rogers Q&A 472

Endnotes 475

Partial Bibliography 509

Index 510

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Caroline Van Hasselt
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