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GENERAL ELECTRIC: GE announced that 3rd quarter profits increased 13% to a quarter net income of $1.37B. GE further reported that NBC demonstrated double-digit improvements in operating profit. GE Senior VP for Finance Dennis Dammerman said that recent discussions over the sale of NBC "recognize that the industry is groping its way toward the electronic future and that partnerships may be helpful." Dammerman added that GE plans to retain majority control of NBC (Wiliam Carley, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/19). MURDOCH HOPES TO NET $1B FOR NEWS CORP: News Corp "is off to a 'very good start' in its current year, expects to soon pocket about US$1B from the sale of part of its British satellite-television operations and isn't currently on the acquisition trail." At yesterday's annual meeting, Rupert Murdoch said "he would be disappointed if over the next 'two to three years' revenue didn't grow by at least 25% and its profits weren't up by 50%" (W.S. JOURNAL, 10/19)....Murdoch also revealed that his global media corporation could get a $1B cash injection from the public offering of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB within the next few weeks. (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/19). REUTERS' Kevin Smith profiled Fox for "Nightly Business Report": "When Fox took the plunge eight years ago, many questioned whether it's new television network would sink or swim. But, rivals now envy the pool of resources enjoyed by Fox and its parents, News Corp. ... There are those who argue that Fox is crazy for spending so much money on developing a high profile in television, and some in the company might just agree, crazy like a fox that is" ("Nightly Business Report," PBS, 10/18).
Due to the NHL lockout, ESPN will televise the Cadillac Breeders Crown live on Friday, October 21. ESPN had originally planned to televise the event later in the evening on a tape- delayed basis (Cadillac)....The Sports Collector's Radio Show has announced the addition of 20 new station affiliates. The show is broadcast live to over 42 states every Sunday from 8-10 p.m. EST (Sports Collector's Radio Show)....Home Shopping Network's net sales increased in the third quarter to $276.6M compared with net sales of $260.5M in the same period last year. This resulted in gross profit of $97.6M, or 35.3%, compared with $90.1M, or 34.6%, in the same period last year (HSN).... "Hardball," the Disney- produced sitcom on Fox -- and "the last vestige of baseball on TV" -- has been canceled. The show had averaged only a 7.4 rating, 12 share in its first five airings while following "The Simpsons" (VARIETY, 10/18). ....ESPN will televise the US's "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey victory over the USSR as part of their replacement NHL programming. It airs October 21 at 8:30pm (ESPN).