Reputation is Priceless

September 24, 2007

Reputation is Priceless

story.jpgVeteran CBS newscaster Dan Rather’s suit against his former employer proves the point that reputations are worth reclaiming and repairing.

Rather’s esteemed reputation was severely tarnished after he apologized for a controversial 2004 report on President Bush’s National Guard service.  In due time, CBS essentially forced Rather out as anchor of CBS evening news. It seemed as if Rather slipped away with his tail between his legs. But two plus years later, Rather is suing CBS for breach of contract and the broadcast company’s attempts to “pacify the White House.”  Rather accuses CBS of committing fraud with a biased investigation that “seriously damaged his reputation.” His lawsuit is aimed at CBS president Leslie Moonves and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone.

I was surprised to learn how many people think it is “sad” that Rather is suing CBS and bringing back the entire event. Someone is quoted in The Washington Post as saying that Rather must be going off the deep end to behave this way. Others say they can not believe he has not been humiliated enough. On and on.

His lawsuit makes perfect sense to me.  Your reputation is all you have at the end of the day. He has every right to mend his reputation and restore his good name. He says he has new evidence that supports his claim.

We might find out that his reputation is worth more than the $70 million named in the lawsuit. Actually reputation is priceless.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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