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NETWORK NEWS: TURNER/TCI TANDEM; WHO'S CBS' NEW STRINGER?
Published February 23, 1995
TURNER & TCI EYE TIME WARNER'S TBS SHARES: Ted Turner and TCI are negotiating to "jointly purchase" Time Warner's 19.4% stake in Turner Broadcasting, according to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. Under the newest proposed deal, Time Warner has dropped "its insistence that it receive" an asset such as the Cartoon Network in exchange for Turner stock, instead, Time Warner is expected to receive "a premium above" Turner's stock price. Under a proposed joint purchase, TCI "will clearly have more clout with Turner. ... Mr. Turner, meanwhile, might have more flexibility to pursue his dream of acquiring a network" (Sharpe & Shapiro, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/23). SHAKE-UP AT BLACK ROCK: According to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, CBS Inc. is expected to name Peter Lund as president of its Broadcast Group, succeeding Howard Stringer, who has reached an agreement to head an interactive video venture being launched by three Baby Bells. Stringer's new post, which is expected to be announced today, has been rumored for several weeks. Lund is currently an Exec VP at CBS Broadcast Group. Lund had "primary responsibility" for renegotiating the NFL deal CBS lost to Fox (Jensen & Lippman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/23). According to CNN's Steve Young, analysts told "Moneyline" that outgoing QVC Chair Barry Diller is the most likely candidate to replace Stringer. Analysts speculate that the new company being headed by Stringer could make a run at CBS, but CNN's Young reports that "there are roadblocks," such as federal regulations that prohibit phone companies from owning TV stations. Young reports that Disney could also be interested in making a play for CBS. Paul Marsh, NatWest Securities media analyst: "Disney has a real strategic interest. It has content. This would get it closer to the advertising dollar" ("Moneyline," CNN, 2/22).