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OTHER NETWORK NEWS: AS TURNER TURNS
Published August 15, 1995
Several analysts cast doubt on the likelihood that Ted Turner would join forces with Microsoft for a bid at CBS, as reported yesterday. Smith Barney's John Reidy: "This to me just doesn't click as a rational idea. You end up with one more large shareholder and more (TBS) equity going out." Reidy and others say a more logical move for Turner would be to join with Westinghouse and split CBS. Bankers Trust's Mark McFadden: "You have the Group W guys saying, 'What we really know how to do is operate stations,' and the Turner guys saying, 'What we really know how to do is operate networks.' And those two together would be damn hard for anybody else to knock off" (REUTERS/DAILY VARIETY, 8/15). Turner officials have confirmed that they are seeking to make a counter-bid for CBS (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/14). MORE PEACOCK PRAISE: The weekly trades have weighed in positively on NBC's purchase of the 2000 and 2002 Olympic Games. VARIETY's J. Max Robins: "NBC has made an important investment in its future, enhancing its brand name and distribution of its cable networks. Moreover, it's a move that will strengthen the network's bond with its affiliates and bring added revenues into the network's growing group of owned stations" (VARIETY, 8/14-20 issue). AD AGE's Joe Mandese: "By anyone's standards, the pre- emptive bid was a bold, risky move. But not necessarily unwise." NBC Cable and Business Development President Tom Rogers: "The question shouldn't be, 'What will NBC do next?' It should be, 'Look at what NBC has done.'" An AD AGE editorial notes that the Olympics adds "another major event to NBC's dominance in free over-the-air TV" and "will aid" cable units CNBC and America's Talking (AD AGE, 8/14 issue). BROADCASTING & CABLE's Jim McConville notes that the deal "buys NBC long-term advertising market visibility amid escalating network competition" (B&C, 8/14 issue).