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CBS, Inc. stock "jumped" on Friday after reports that CBS Chair & CEO Laurance Tisch was negotiating to sell his stake in the company to Westinghouse Electric. CBS closed up 3 1/4 at 64 3/4 on the NYSE. CNBC commentator Dan Dorfman had reported that Westinghouse would offer about $80 a share for CBS stock. Rob Morrow, a Westinghouse spokesperson, said the company "doesn't speculate on rumors or speculation" (N.Y. POST, 4/29). NO CHANGE AT FOX? ELECTRONIC MEDIA is reporting that the FCC is all but "scrapping a plan to make Fox restructure and instead may give Rupert Murdoch a foreign ownership waver" (AD AGE/ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 5/1 issue).
Sean Connery, Bill Murray and Gary Player have accepted invites to participate in the $1M Lexus Challenge, televised on NBC from Dec. 13-17. They will join Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson (Lexus)....Keith Jackson's ad for Miller Lite premiered this weekend. Jackson will donate all proceeds from the ad to a broadcast scholarship program in his name at his alma mater, Washington State (Miller). But in Baltimore, Milton Kent questions the "propriety" of Jackson doing an ad for alcohol (Baltimore SUN, 5/1)....Rupert Murdoch will finance a new weekly national magazine with prominent conservative writers on politics and policy (N.Y. TIMES, 4/30).
The NBA and Spurs are telling local businesses in the San Antonio area they "may face legal trouble if they show playoff games without authorization," according to the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Lawrence Payne, Spurs Senior VP/Broadcasting, said a letter mailed to 400 recipients said, "If you want to show these games, you have to get permission." Payne said about 30 outlets had been licensed for games over this past weekend, and a blackout area extends 75 miles for NBC broadcasts and 35 miles for cable (Joe Fohn, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/1). NBC RELEASES FINAL RATINGS: The "NBA on NBC" has scored its highest regular-season ratings average in its last five years. The series finished with a 5.2 rating/14 share for 26 telecasts, an increase of 13% over last season, which ended with a 4.6/12. It was the highest regular-season average for the NBA on network TV since the '88-89 season when the NBA got a 5.8 on CBS (NBC). CHECK YOUR LOCAL VIDEO STORE: NBA Entertainment will release two home videos tomorrow: "Hakeem the Dream" and "Shawn Kemp The ReignMan" (NBA NEWS, 4/25 issue).