Francis Xavier "Frank" Cross is a conceited, cynical television programming executive. He has found great success and wealth, but has become cold-hearted and cruel. In the opening scenes he can be seen working out in a room with a wallpaper border that reads "Cross: A thing they nail people to".
His ruthless concentration on his lucrative, fast climbing career has cost him his true love, Claire. It has also alienated him from his family, and obliterated any chance of his having a happy and fulfilling life. Essentially, Frank has become nothing but an expensive black suit who barks orders. He grossly overworks his assistant Grace Cooley, forcing her to constantly break plans with her family.
When Cross is given the task of heading up a live broadcast of A Christmas Carol, his life inexplicably begins to mirror the story he's producing. First, the ghost of his mentor, 1970-media mogul Lew Hayward, visits him to show him the error of his ways. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future then appear, and Frank repents. The reformed Frank reunites with Claire, who now runs a shelter for the homeless, and he finds in the end that there are more important things than winning the ratings war.