Dick Parsons: In The Media World You Have Suits And You Have Talent


Former Time Warner CEO and oenophile Dick Parsons recorded an interview for First30Days.com’s Change Nation talking about life after being an executive. In the interview, conducted by First30Days Founder and CEO Ariane de Bonvoisin, Parsons summarily shoots down the speculation that he wants to follow in fellow New York media mogul Michael Bloomberg’s footsteps. ”There is this persistent rumor that I am going to run for mayor … It is not something that I want to do at this stage in my life.” Citing the amount of time a mayoral commitment asks, Parsons says he prefers, for the time being at least, to ”chill,” and pursue other passions, including his vineyard.

Parsons also conceded that AOL was a problem under his watch, and remains so in the present. ”The next major challenge he [Bewkes] has is to figure out how AOL fits in the whole mix. That is something I wrestled with for six years and I’m still not sure I got it right, and so he still has a little work to do there, but he is a smarter guy than I am so I wish him luck.”

On the transition from running the day-to-day operations at Time Warner, Parsons muses:

”I used to say to people I’m a media executive, but now I’ve gotten comfortable with the following: When they say what do you do? I say, I’m a suit. A suit is a business guy who isn’t talent, because in the media world it’s divided into two classes or species of human beings. You have suits and you have talents. The suits run the money and do the business and the talent stands in front of the camera or behind the microphone and conducts interviews or acts.”’

(image via msnbc)