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Armstrong's Interview With Oprah Part Of Plan To Rehab Image, Re-Enter Public Life
Published January 14, 2013
LIVESTRONG AND PROSPER: In N.Y., Stephanie Saul writes a front-page piece under the header, “Armstrong’s Business Brand, Bound Tight With His Charity.” An examination of Livestrong “shows the degree to which the charity, Mr. Armstrong’s business interests and those of his associates have long been intertwined.” While Armstrong’s celebrity “fed the charity, the charity also enhanced his marketability.” Interviews and data show that Livestrong also “engaged in some deals that appeared to have benefited him and his associates.” Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman said that the foundation has “reduced its budget by 11 percent for this year but expected many of its donors would remain loyal.” Ulman said, “In the long run, I think the organization is going to be incredibly strong because the cause is so important” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/14). ESPN's Buster Olney wrote on his Twitter feed, "Let's hope that a high-profile figure steps into the vacuum of cancer research/awareness that will be created this week. There clearly is much passion to help folks suffering from cancer, and Livestrong always provided outlet for that. Another may be needed" (TWITTER.com, 1/14).
COMING CLEAN: The AP’s Jim Vertuno reported Armstrong was scheduled to sit down today “for what has been trumpeted as a ‘no-holds barred,’ 90-minute, question-and-answer session” with Winfrey. Winfrey and her crew will “film the interview at Armstrong's home and broadcast it Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.” Armstrong wrote in a text on Saturday, "I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That's all I can say” (AP, 1/13).