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DISNEY'S TV HEAD CONFIRMS COMPANY IS IN A BUYING MOOD
Published March 16, 1995
Walt Disney Co.'s new head of television, Dennis Hightower, says the company will continue to look at acquiring a TV network: "We're obviously still evolving our strategic objectives in that regard. I'll say it is still on the slate" (REUTERS/COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 3/15). Despite Hightower's statement, Disney CEO Michael Eisner refused to comment on the rumors that Disney and former QVC Chair Barry Diller were teaming up to buy CBS. Eisner was in New York unveiling the Disney Institute -- a planned educational resort in FL (Jonathan Auerbach, N.Y. POST, 3/16). CNBC's "Business Insiders" noted takeover talk has led to a "run- up" in CBS' stock this week. On the show, there was a panel discussion concerning the takeover rumors. Among the panelists: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Stephen Battaglio, USA TODAY's David Lieberman, media analyst Porter Bibb, and economics columnist Kathleen Hays. Bibb on the rumors that CBS Chair Laurence Tisch might be more "disposed" to sell to Disney rather than Ted Turner: "Larry Tish is more disposed to sell to the highest bidder, and Disney can buy CBS anytime they want. CBS is now at 68 1/4, it topped $70 a share, getting close to the $80 asking price that Larry Tisch wants for CBS. I don't see Disney paying that price. Ted Turner on the other hand, really has to buy a network, whether it's CBS or NBC." If he doesn't get a network, Bibb said Turner would stay "forever relegated to the second tier in the media business" (CNBC, 3/15).