ENOUGH TO BE DANGEROUS

by Mort Meisner

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Enough to be Dangerous by Mort Meisner couldn’t be more timely, as America and the world seek equality and justice amidst the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements.

Mort’s stories will make you laugh, cry, and cringe, as he chronicles his decades-long career as a TV news director in Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit, and how he’s now a leading agent for TV news talent.

It begins in 1960 when he was a child in racially turbulent Detroit. That’s when Mort witnessed an attack on a black boy as white parents shouted the n-word and threw rocks to protest bussing to integrate his elementary school.

A short time later, seven-year-old Mort stood helpless and crying as white teens yelled slurs at his Jewish mother while attacking her. This — and the vicious beatings that his father inflicted on Mort, his brother, and his mother inside their run-down home — instilled in him a deep disdain for hatred, violence, and discrimination.

Then, a passion for sports and storytelling inspired Mort to study broadcast journalism at the University of Detroit by day, while working as a rock ‘n roll promoter for famous musicians by night. The wild hedonism of the 1970s rock scene, along with the tragic and troubling chaos of his childhood, laid a unique and bold foundation to launch Mort’s career as a renegade for positive change in the TV news industry.

Enough to Be Dangerous chronicles Mort’s against-the-odds success, and his courageous quest to call out sexism and racism in newsrooms in St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In this hard-hitting memoir, Mort exposes rampant racism amongst TV news managers who dubbed black male reporters as “garbagemen” and assigned them the worst stories of the day. Mort fought to change this, but at times realized he was fighting an impossible battle against a racist system, even when he took his case to the EEOC.

Mort also spoke up and out against degrading treatment of female reporters and anchors. And he was never afraid to take his complaints to the leaders of America’s major media networks.

Mort bares his soul on the pages of Enough to Be Dangerous, by sharing his struggles with cocaine addiction as an attempt to soothe wounds inflicted by his parents’ abuse and the wrongs of the world. He also shares poignant moments about his family, and revelations about the power to heal.

Now a leading broadcast news talent agent for journalists across America, Mort Meisner invites you to dive into his timely insights and experiences that echoes today’s headlines about journalism, racism, and sexism. The book balances the somber stories with scenes that titillate with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.

When you read Enough to Be Dangerous, you’ll get an unforgettable peek into a life fully lived and a legacy that’s leaving a powerful imprint on TV news and people everywhere.

Enough To Be Dangerous takes us on quite a ride! Mort gives us a peek behind the curtains of the music business, the news business, and into the heart of a man who could have been defeated by a tragic upbringing but instead stuck to his passion and created quite a life! Mort acknowledges mentors who had been instrumental to him over the years. And then Mort gives back, mentoring so many himself and being a true force of positive change for black journalists. A great read!”
— Diana Lewis, former TV news anchor, WXYZ-ABC Detroit

I have known Mort Meisner for 35 years. He is one of the most positive individuals who possess a broader picture of the world and of the common man. Mort’s story will grab your heart, touch your soul, and you’ll love every page.”
— Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon, PhD., retired Detroit Police Chief and Deputy Mayor

I thought I knew Mort Meisner—former boss, and longtime friend.  Then I read his book.  Wow! What an eye-opener!  Mort bares all in a gripping tale of child abuse, sex, drugs, booze, and rock and roll. Plus, amazing inside stories about the underbelly of TV news.”
—Scott Lewis, former award-winning TV news reporter at Fox 2 Detroit/WJBK and current private investigator.

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ENDORSEMENTS

That’s Mort—a voice that cuts through the clutter and confusion to get to what matters. Maybe it’s his highly successful years in the TV news business that allows him to ingest enormous amounts of information and frenzied emotion, and almost instantly share a conclusion that brings life and light to dimming eyes.
– Jim Epperson, Retired Corporate Officer at AT&T


I’ve known Mort Meisner for over 40 years. I knew him first professionally, when we worked together at the ABC television station in Detroit, Michigan. I’ve known him continually since then as a friend and sometimes colleague at other stations. To me, Mort has always been a bigger than life character. I hope this book will give the reader a small sense of why. I know of no one who worked with more passion and enthusiasm as a television newsman. He had a “rolodex” memory for contacts and knew how to reach them. That’s of indispensable value in a newsroom. But, it was outside the newsroom that Mort’s true life stories and incredible experiences engendered sorrow, fascination and enjoyment. You’ll find those stories here. Finally, other than my wife, there is no one to whom I would rather turn if in trouble, pain, or need. As the author C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods.” This is a book about that.
– Steve Antoniotti, Former General Manager, WJBK FOX Detroit


I have had a highly enjoyable working relationship with Mort for years-first coaching his talent at Fox2 Detroit and then coaching some of his many TV clients. We admire and appreciate his direct, no-nonsense approach; he tells it EXACTLY like it is. Mort is tenacious, determined, super sharp, caring, generous, and a whirling dervish-working the phones and managing his many projects with great efficiency. His audaciously colorful and crazy-making life could not be contained in just one book!
– Joni Brander, Broadcast Talent Coach, thetvcoach.com, Chicago


A no holds barred look at big city TV new in its heyday. Mort Meisner tells of the highs and lows of running a news operation in major markets like Chicago, Detroit and St Louis. Meisner minces no words as he also grapples with a drug habit that almost takes him down. Enough to be Dangerous is a great read.
– John “Bulldog” Drummond, Former Mob & Crime Reporter, CBS O&O WBBM, Chicago


I could not put it down. So compelling–honest–and helpful. A book that had to be written–because anyone who witnessed what you will read here certainly needed to write a book about it. A compelling story of struggles, determination, compassion-and love. And to be clear–as he does in life–Mort tells it like it is! No excuses! A heartfelt look at one’s life from within that may just leave you asking…what have I accomplished… what I have I done to learn from experiences and work to make this a better place?
– Murray Feldman, Former Anchor/Business Reporter, WJBK Detroit, WWJ News Radio 950


I have watched first-hand the metamorphosis of Mort Meisner over the last 21 years. Mort is a smart man and has learned to play to his strengths as he has addressed his shortcomings. Mort’s personal story along with his career stories are must reading and something all of us can learn from.
– Dr. Norman Goldner, PhD


I was fortunate to work with Mort Meisner during some of the most momentous and evolutionary years in Detroit television news. You will be given an insight into many of these notable events and personalities in the pages of this memoir.
– Jerry Hodak, Meteorologist/Health and Science Reporter, ABC, WXYZ Detroit


Mort as a man is a mench, as a friend, he is singular, and as a brother, he is unconditional… Reflecting sacred scriptures: Proverbs 27:17 states iron sharpens iron so does a man sharpen the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 17:17, A friend loveth at all times, a brother is born for adversity… John 15:12-13 “No greater love does a man have but to lay down his own life for his friend”. I love you man, arm in (&) arm, back to back, no retreat and no surrender, all the way home.
– Dr. Keith Khalil, DC Chiropractor


How did he do it? How did he always bring enthusiasm and passion to the work whether it was investigating a story or developing a talent? This book answers the question: with focus, self-reliance and sheer will to succeed against all odds. It never was and never is boring to work with Mort Meisner.”
– Kathryn Kiefer, TV News Talent Coach, And Former TV NEWS ANCHOR/REPORTER, WXYZ, Detroit, WBBM, Chicago, KGO, San Fransisco, KMGH, Denver, WBZ, Boston, KTVI, ST. Louis


Mort Meisner is a one of a kind, caring and thoughtful guy who gets straight to the point. Hearing and reading about his experiences has been wildly entertaining, and sometimes mind blowing. He’s not only funny but his stories are memorable and worth sharing as life lessons.
– Jason Knowles, Consumer Investigative Reporter, ABC, WLS Chicago


Enough to Be Dangerous takes us on quite a ride! Mort gives us a peek behind the curtains of the music business, the news business, and into the heart of a man who could have been defeated by a tragic upbringing but instead stuck to his passion and created quite a life! Mort acknowledges mentors who had been instrumental to him over the years. And then Mort gives back, mentoring so many himself and being a true force of positive change for black journalists. A great read!
– Diana Lewis, Anchor/Reporter, ABC, WXYZ Detroit


I thought I knew Mort Meisner, former boss, and longtime friend. Then I read his book. Wow, what an eye-opener! Mort bares all in a gripping tale of child abuse, sex, drugs, booze and rock and roll. Plus, amazing inside stories about the underbelly of TV news.
– Scott Lewis, Award Winning Former Investigative Reporter, FOX O&O, WJBK Detroit, Private Investigator and Owner, Scott Lewis Investigations.


I have known Mort Meisner for 35 years. He is one of the most positive individuals who possesses a broader picture of the world and of the common man. Mort’s story will grab your heart, touch your soul and love every page.
Isaiah (Ike) Mckinnon PH. D, retired Detroit police chief and deputy mayor
– Dr. Isaiah “Ike “Mckinnon, Ph.D, Former Detroit Police Chief/Deputy Mayor


Throughout Enough to Be Dangerous my dad delivers the message to all that where you start in life doesn’t define where you finish. To free yourself from the trappings of a difficult past, action must be taken and this book provides readers with a wealth of entertainment, experience, and insight into how the things we go through make us who we are.
– Mark Meisner, Son and MLBPA Agent


I’ve known Mort Meisner for decades. As a talent agent he is fiercely loyal, always stood FOR me, always stood WITH me. A relentless advocate. As a friend, he is incredibly loyal, the kind of person you call when you achieve something great and, the kind of friend you call when you are really hurting. He’s rock steady. Not just me, but my wife and family revere him because they know this about his guidance and goodness: “I’m with Mort.”
– Craig Nigrelli, Anchor/Reporter, KAKE Wichita


Mort Meisner mentored decades of successful American television journalists. He empowered individuals with the confidence to effectively communicate while being fair and factual. Most pronounced was Mort’s desire to beat the competition and win the newscast ratings period with a mantra, I can still hear clearly today, “Need it, want it, get it, Period”. Guess who’s still winning in 2020, “Exclamation Point”.
– John Pertzborn, Anchor/Reporter, FOX, KTVI St. Louis


Powerful and inspiring. Mort’s first hand experiences take you on a fast-paced ride behind the scenes and adventures of the television news industry.
– Lauren Pozen, Reporter, ABC, WSB Atlanta


Managing a television newsroom is not for the timid. I can attest to that. I’m a former news director. The job is exhilarating but daunting to the extreme. Before becoming a talent agent for some of the biggest names in television news, Mort Meisner ran the biggest newsrooms in the country deftly and with style. He made it look easy. Mort conquered much tougher demons. He rose strong above an abusive childhood and hard core drug use. Most mere mortals would have crumbled. How could someone with such a traumatic past become such a positive force, such an optimist, such a major success? Mort answers that and many other questions in his memoir Enough to be Dangerous. Mort is a great storyteller and a colorful personality. He’ll entertain you with tales from inside the television newsroom and you’ll learn how his past fueled his future. Time is precious. You won’t waste a minute. Read Mort’s story – it’s captivating. (took liberties with the last line)
– Joe Rovitto, Clemensen Rovitto, LLC, TV Consultants

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