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BROADCAST NEWS: IS CBS STILL ON THE BLOCK?
Published April 12, 1995
Speculation about a takeover at CBS Inc., which had "approached the boiling point in recent months cooled yesterday after the network reported dismal first-quarter earnings." Smith Barney media analyst John Reidy: "The rumor mill has calmed down for now. It's clear that CBS has a lot of work to do, and that will make people think longer before buying." CBS stock was down 2 1/2 to 63 1/8 yesterday on the NYSE. Yesterday, CBS announced an earnings drop of 68% (DOW JONES/N.Y. POST, 4/12). THE NEW NETWORKS: The two newest broadcast networks, WB and UPN, are still "struggling to find an audience," according to Josef Adalian of the N.Y. POST. With the exception of "Star Trek: Voyager," shows for both networks are at the bottom of the ratings. UPN's two nights of programming average a 4.6, while WB's one night averages a 1.9 (N.Y. POST, 4/12). THE MURDOCH TAX BREAK: NBC's Brian Williams reported on President Clinton's signing into law of a tax bill that gives a tax break for the sale of a media interest to minority-owned firms. Williams: "The broadcast portion of the bill amounts to a special tax break for Fox-TV network owner Rupert Murdoch. He is selling an Atlanta TV station to a minority owned firm and thanks to the bill he will now save $63 million in taxes" ("Nightly News," NBC, 4/11). Murdoch spoke yesterday at the annual convention of the Nat'l Association of Broadcasters. He used part of his speech to praise the efforts of rival media mogul Ted Turner. In Atlanta, Charles Haddad notes that both Turner and Murdoch are fighting in out for new territory, specifically in Asia (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/12).