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NETWORK NEWS: REPORT SAYS DILLER, ITT MADE BID FOR CBS
Published June 9, 1995
Former QVC head Barry Diller and ITT chief Rand Araskog "came within a whisker" of completing a $5B deal for CBS, according to the N.Y. POST, but CBS Chair Laurence Tisch "wanted too much." Tisch, who said to be seeking $80 a share for the network, reportedly wants all payments in cash. The Diller/ITT bid was said to be in the form of ITT stock. Diller, who has failed three times to complete a bid for CBS, is "still thought to be interested" in buying the network. ITT is co-owner of MSG (N.Y. POST, 6/9). NBC PREPS FOR FIGHT WITH TURNER: Ted Turner's bid to start a financial news cable network that would rival CNBC "is setting the stage for a war" with CNBC owner NBC "to become the premier provider of TV news and information," according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Yesterday, NBC said it is "prepared to fight back by launching its own 24-hour news channel" to compete with Turner's CNN. While NBC News President Andrew Lack said that cable operators and channel limitations stand in the way, other NBC execs note that direct broadcast satellite could be an option. The Turner board is expected to approve the new channel plan today (Sharpe/Jensen/Robichaux, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/9). THROUGH THE ROOF: The N.Y. TIMES' Stuart Elliott examines this year's bull market in up-front ad sales for the networks' '95-96 seasons. Of the total $5.6B spent (up 27.3% from '94-95), NBC led with $1.7B, ABC had $1.6B, CBS had $1.3B and Fox, which sold only $720M last spring, came in at $1B. Jerry Dominus, senior partner at J. Walter Thompson, New York: "I've never seen so much money change hands in so brief a period of time" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/9). EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH: David Letterman, on yesterday's hiring of Les Moonves to head the CBS Entertainment Division: "I think I speak for all of us, especially right here on the 'Late Show' when I say -- CBS has an entertainment division?" ("Late Show," CBS, 6/8).