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OTHER NETWORK NEWS: DILLER'S BACK; ROSY SCENARIO AT ABC
Published February 7, 1995
While QVC Chair Barry Diller failed in his first attempt at taking over CBS, that hasn't "stopped rampant rumors on Wall Street and Broadcast Row" that Diller is planning a second run at CBS, according to this morning's VARIETY. Speculation about a Diller move comes as the QVC takeover by TCI and Comcast becomes final this week -- triggering Diller's resignation as chair -- "and against a backdrop of turmoil at CBS." One industry source says Diller has put together the estimated $5B in financing he would need, but there is "no sign where it comes from" (DAILY VARIETY, 2/7 issue). A LOOK AT CBS' NUMBERS: CBS' profit picture, expected to be announced tomorrow, "is likely to paint a grim picture of falling earnings," according to N.Y. POST's John Durie. Durie says the diminished earnings are due to the loss of the NFL and key affiliates to Fox, also citing CBS President Laurence Tisch's "strategic failure to develop the CBS franchise into an entertainment powerhouse like Capital Cities/ABC and newer television rivals such as Viacom and Time Warner" (N.Y. POST, 2/7). CAP CITIES/ABC: Cap Cities/ABC reported that net income rose 44% to $240.6M in the 4th Quarter due to strong advertising results from its broadcasting and cable networks. "Earnings were up significantly at ESPN," according to the company. John Reidy, media analyst for Smith Barney, said ABC might have "been lucky" that the baseball strike occurred, as it left the network free to "broadcast its usual fall lineup instead of the World Series, which would have brought strong ratings but perhaps less profit" (Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 2/7).