Munk, Nina 1968-
MUNK, Nina 1968-
Born 1968; daughter of Peter (a businessman) and Linda (a professor) Munk. Education: Smith College, B.A.; Middlebury College, M.A.; Columbia School of Journalism, M.Sc. (with honors).
Freelance journalist and editor. Vanity Fair, New York, NY, contributing editor.
Best Retail Submission, IFA Association, for story on Gap, Inc. in Fortune; business journalist of the year designation, Corporation of London, 1998; Front Page Award, for article about corruption among Wall Street analysts in Vanity Fair; Best Entertainment and Leisure Submission, LCCI Awards, 2004, for profile of Steve Case in Vanity Fair.
(Wtih Nadia Zonis) Urbanhound: The New York City Dog's Ultimate Survival Guide, City & Co. (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor) Betsy Brevitz, Hound Health Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Keeping Your Dog Happy, Healthy, and Active, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.
Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to numerous publications, including Vanity Fair, Fortune, New York Times Magazine, and New Yorker.
A freelance journalist for various magazines and journals, Nina Munk has covered Wall Street scandals, the rise and fall of the dot com revolution, and the outsize egos of various corporate CEOs. In Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner, Munk draws on this background to tell the story of one of the most disastrous mergers in Wall Street history. Though not the first book to chronicle this tale, Fools Rush In "is the best so far," according to Adam Lipnik in the New York Times Book Review. "Marrying exemplary reporting with lively, lucid writing, [Munk] … makes a convincing—nay, devastating—case that Levin wrecked the legacy of Henry Luce, the founder of Time, Inc., in the service of his ego."
Gerald Levin, who had engineered Time's merger with Warner and then taken over Time Warner in a boardroom coup in 1992, presided as an imperial CEO over a board that included Ted Turner. "Neither Jerry Levin (who talked to Ms. Munk more than he should have) nor the sleepwalking Time Warner board (hello, Ted) will find much comfort here—far from it," noted Wall Street Journal contributor Spencer Reiss. Over at AOL, Steve Case, by all accounts a much blander and more plodding figure, managed to read Levin and immediately offered to make him CEO of the new firm if he agreed to a merge. In the end, it was Case who emerged as chairman of the board and provided a cushion for his stock when the dot com bubble burst, while Levin saw a plunge in Time Warner shares, a plunge he himself rode to the bottom. He ultimately stepped down from the new company in December of 2001. "How Munk can portray Case as a fool on a par with Levin, as she implies, is puzzling," commented Boston Globe reviewer Joseph Rosenbloom. "Case may not have gained long-term employment as part of the deal. He stepped down as Time Warner's chairman …, but he is still one of the nation's wealthiest men." Indeed, the deal may well have saved AOL from bankruptcy as broadband alternatives and better search engines like Google threatened the online portals. In telling its complicated story, including detailing the inevitable lawsuits and federal investigations of the corporate books, "Munk's book deserves points for its breezy style and agile handling of the business issues," remarked Washington Post reviewer Robert Bryce.
In addition to her work explaining and exposing the world of high finance, Munk also runs Urbanhound.com, a Web site devoted to helping New York City dog owners with help in finding dog runs, fighting legal challenges such as pet-based evictions, and getting bargains in food and pet supplies. She has also written a companion book, Urbanhound: The New York City Dog's Ultimate Survival Guide.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2004, David Siegfried, review of Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner, p. 787.
Boston Globe, April 4, 2004, Joseph Rosenbloom, "A Calamitous Merger and the Men Who Engineered It," section C, p. 2.
Business Record, (Des Moines, IA) August 16, 2004, "What Happened?," p. 34.
Business Week, March 22, 2004, "Media Follies," p. 28.
Crain's New York Business, July 9, 2001, Michelle Leader, "Canine Web Site Soliciting Bones to Survive," p. 19.
Entertainment Weekly, January 16, 2004, David Koeppel, review of Fools Rush In, p. 75.
Library Journal, February 1, 2004, Richard Drezen, review of Fools Rush In, p. 103.
New York Times Book Review, January 18, 2004, Adam Liptak, "You've Got Travail," p. 12.
Publishers Weekly, January 5, 2004, review of Fools Rush In, p. 75.
Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2004, Spencer Reiss, review of Fools Rush In, p. W5.
Washington Post, March 7, 2004, Robert Bryce, "On the Trail of Corporate Accountability—from the Boardroom to the Courtroom," p. T110.
Nina Munk Home Page,http://ninamunk.com (September 29, 2004).
NNDB Web site,http://www.nndb.com/people/ (September 29, 2004), author profile.
Urbanhound.com,http://www.urbanhound.com/ (September 29, 2004).