Morrow makes move on Masters’ Mouse memoirs

Book will disclose secrets of the Eisner era

NEW YORK — HarperCollins imprint William Morrow has purchased “Keys to the Kingdom,” industry reporter Kim Masters’ examination of Michael Eisner’s reign at the top of the Walt Disney Co.

The book made news two months ago when Random House imprint Broadway Books dropped the title, claiming the book turned out to be less hard-hitting than the one it had expected, and demanded that Masters return the portion of her $700,000 advance that she had already been paid.

Threat of lawsuit

Masters refused to surrender the money she had received and threatened to sue Random House for the remaining $350,000, claiming the company’s dropping of the book was not in good faith and was done at the behest of Bertelsmann, the German company that owns the pub house and has been involved in overseas dealings with Disney.

Several weeks ago, the matter was resolved amicably between the two parties, according to a Random House spokesman. Though that person did not disclose financial details, insiders said Masters kept the portion of the advance that was initially paid to her.

New info on Eisner

Once the matter was resolved with Random House, ICM’s Kris Dahl set about ironing out the deal with William Morrow publisher Michael Murphy and exec editor Henry Ferris.

People inside William Morrow said the book will not go through a large content edit and will contain heretofore undisclosed information about the Eisner era at the Mouse House.

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