Author Picture

Steven Brill

Born August 22, 1950 is an American journalist-enterpreneur. Brill's most recent reporting and book is concerned with healthcare costs.
Brill was born in Queens, New York. He is a graduate of Deerfield Academy and Yale University (B.A. 1972, J.D. 1975).
In October 1978 Teamsters was published. In 1979 the The American Lawyer was launched, a monthly magazine covering the business of law firms and lawyers across the U.S. and around the world, was founded by Brill in 1979. Among its early contributors were Jill Abramson and Jim Cramer. The magazine is well known for its signature surveys including the Am Law 100, a ranking of the top 100 law firms. The magazine also covered the rise and subsequent precipitous collapse of the law firm of Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey in 1987.

In 1989 Court TV (now TruTV) was founded and the network launched on July 1, 1991. Among its original anchors were Fred Graham, who was still at the network twenty years later, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran, who later joined ABC News. The network was born out of two competing projects to launch cable channels with live courtroom proceedings, the American Trial Network from Time Warner and American Lawyer Media and In Court from Cablevision and NBC. Both projects were combined and present at the National Cable Television Association in June 1990. Liberty Media joined the venture in 1991. Court TV featured continuous live trial coverage, with analysis by anchors. The network came into its own during the Menendez brothers' first trial and later the O.J. Simpson murder trial. In 1997 Brill resigned from the network.

In June 1998, Brill's Content was launched, a media watchdog publication that ceased publication in fall 2001 (The Write News, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 1998)-v. 4, no. 6 (Fall 2001). The magazine caused a stir with an article by Brill in its very first issue titled "Pressgate," charging that independent counsel Ken Starr and his office had been the source of much of the information for reporters regarding the grand jury proceedings about the Lewinsky scandal and that as a result Starr may have violated federal law or ethical and prosecutorial guidelines. The publication became less associated with Brill after its founding.

In July 2000, Contentville was launched. In 2001 Brill began teaching an advanced journalism course at Yale. In November 2001 Brill signed on as a contributing editor for Newsweek.

In April 2003, After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era was published. In October 2003 The America Prepared Campaign was launched. In the fall of 2003, Brill founded the company Clear, a subsidiary of Verified Identity Pass, Inc. It allowed travelers to get through airport security quickly with an annual subscription to the program and pre-screening. As of 2014 Brill was not associated with the current[when?] Clear operations.

In 2009, Brill and two other media executives created Journalism Online to help newspapers and magazines charge for online access. The company was sold to RR Donnelley for a reported $45 million in 2011 and now has more than 400 newspapers, magazines and online only websites using its Press+ service to charge for digital content. Brill and co-founder Gordon Crovitz remain as co-CEOs. In March 2011, Journalism Online was sold to RR Donnelley.

In August 2011, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools was published. It described the success of charter schools, using the Success Academy Charter Schools (then known as Harlem Success Academy) as an example, and profiled teacher Jessica Reid as a model of what could be done without union restrictions. He described how unions, particularly the United Federation of Teachers and UFT president Randi Weingarten in New York City, protected incompetent teachers, and were opposed to pay-for-performance, and obstructed necessary reforms, a system he had previously exposed in The New Yorker. By the time Brill came to the end of the book, Reid quit. The long hours and stress of her job, with nightly calls to parents, and constant prodding of students, were affecting her marriage. Brill changed his position on charter schools and unions. He said that after two years of researching school reform, he understood the complexities. He reversed his view of Weingarten, and proposed that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appoint her chancellor of the school system.

In February 2013 Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us was published as a Time magazine magazine cover story. The investigation of billing practices revealed that hospitals and their executives are gaming the system to maximize revenue. Brill claims patients receive bills that have little relationship to the care that was provided and that the free market in American medicine is a myth, with or without Obamacare. The 24,000-plus word article took up the entire feature section of the magazine, the first time in the history of TIME. Time magazine's managing editor Rick Stengel wrote:"If the piece has a villain, it's something you've probably never heard of: the chargemaster, the mysterious internal price list for products and services that every hospital in the U.S. keeps. If the piece has a hero, it's an unlikely one: Medicare, the government program that by law can pay hospitals only the approximate costs of care. ..." The article was expanded and published as a book on January 5, 2015.

Personal life:
Brill is married and has three children. He resides in New York City and Bedford, New York.
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