The New York Times ran a front page story today on the acquittal of Richard Scrushy, former CEO of Health South. Despite the testimony of numerous former lieutenants, Scrushy walked. It broke the government’s winning streak against malfeasant executives. The trial was set in Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. Scrushy’s hometown. During his days running Health South, Scrushy was a cornerstone of Birmingham society, throwing lavish parties, giving big gobs of cash to charities. I think we can anticipate a book deal and possible movie of the week tie-in. Judith Regan comes to mind as the ideal publisher for Scrushy. Fortunately for all concerned, ReganBooks is still in New York. Birmingham is just a few hours by air from the throbbing heart of Bookdom. This won’t be easy to pull off from Los Angeles for several reasons: all flights originating in the South begin and end in Atlanta. If your travel plans don’t include Atlanta, you’d better drive. (2) Sarbanes-Oxley forbids loans to corporate officers. Travel advances may or may not be construed as loans. Ask your financial advisor; they’re in Atlanta. (3) Congress is considering legislation limiting the number of exploitative books each publisher may produce in a given year ( fiscal year). Special allowances are made for members of Congress, their memoirs, works of scholarship, and the quarterly Beige Book issued by the Fed. If you’re looking for a copy of the Beige Book, there’s one in the Atlanta Public Library.
Let’s hope there are plenty of marketing toys to go with the Scrushy book. One idea is to have Pamela Anderson on the cover. There are no other ideas. All I can say is, make mine a Scrushy.