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BROADCAST NEWS: UNITED PARAMOUNT OUTLINES PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Published October 6, 1994
The United Paramount Network will start up on January 18 with a schedule of five programs over two nights. United Paramount President Lucille Salhany announced that the new network, "in a race with the Warner studio to become the fifth broadcast network," has signed up stations to reach about 65% of the country. But 21 of the 72 stations announced as part of the network "are to be secondary affiliates, meaning they will broadcast only some of the United Paramount" shows because they have other affiliation responsibilities. United Paramount plans to add other nights in coming years (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 10/6). Kerry McCluggage, Chair of Paramount's TV division: "The other networks tend to program for women, so we're counterprogramming for young men." The network will kickoff with a Star Trek spinoff, "a sure fire male favorite," and the other shows will be male oriented action and comedy (Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, 10/6). TIME WARNER TALKS WITH NBC SLOW DOWN: Time Warner's negotiations to acquire a stake in GE's NBC unit "have been halted after the two sides couldn't agree on the price and other terms." A source close to Time Warner said talks are "stalled"; no other sessions are scheduled." One senior exec at GE said Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin had "balked at the terms" proposed by GE (Johnnie Roberts, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/6). PaineWebber is involved in "preliminary" discussions to buy the brokerage operations of GE unit Kidder, Peabody, & Co. Analysts call the sale a "long shot" (Michael Siconolfi, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/6). AFFILIATES COSTLY TO THE BIG THREE: NBC, CBS, and ABC will "collectively lose between $150M-$250M in annual earnings" to keep their affils from switching to Fox or among each other. Chris Dixon, media analyst for PaineWebber, says that "underestimating the growing impact of costs factors like the increased price of maintaining a strong affiliate base and producing more programs" in-house could be a costly mistake for any network buyer (Diane Mermigas, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/3 issue).