Disney ‘Furious’ at NBC for Breaking Embargo on Kennedy Book

NBC aired audio exerpts ahead of schedule

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Disney execs are “furious” that the world exclusive on the embargoed Jackie Kennedy book and audiotapes was broken by NBC, and not ABC, according to the New York Post’s Keith Kelly. Both ABC and the book’s publisher, Hyperion, are owned by Disney.

The book, “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” and accompanying tapes had an embargo date of today, but NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” first aired excerpts of the audio last Friday, and on the “Today” show Monday and Tuesday morning.

NBC apparently got a hold of the book and tape set from a bookstore owner who put it out for sale early. But the network did limit its audio selection to “fair use” excerpts, says to Kelly.

Hyperion said that it was unaware that NBC had a copy of the book until after Friday’s “Nightly News” aired. “Caroline Kennedy and her family granted ABC the exclusive rights to the audio,” said a Hyperion spokesperson. “We made NBC aware of the copyright, and we urged NBC to respect those copyrights.”

According to Kelly, Hyperion also offered the “gift-wrapped scoop” to the New York Times for publication yesterday, but after NBC broke the embargo, the Times was permitted to run the story on Monday, a day ahead of schedule.

The broken embargo didn’t keep ABC from airing its two-hour special about Kennedy with Diane Sawyer last night, and the book itself is currently No. 1 on the Amazon best-seller list.

@adweekemma emma.bazilian@adweek.com Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.