WILL THE TURNER BOARD GO ALONG WITH TED'S NETWORK QUEST?
Published August 21, 1995
Ted Turner meets today with the board of directors of Turner Broadcasting "in what may be an effort to map the future of his company," according to this morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Topics include the purchases of King World Productions and Samuel Goldwyn Inc., along with a possible bid for CBS (Kloer & Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/21). The N.Y. TIMES' examines Turner's quest for a network and reports that Time Warner, a Turner shareholder, now supports Turner's efforts as a means of increasing the value of its 19% stake in TBS (Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 8/21). The TIMES' Mark Landler notes that many "Turner-watchers" believe he would better off linking with GE-owned NBC than with CBS (N.Y. TIMES, 8/21). Analysts and industry sources expect more "action" on the King World and Goldwyn fronts in today's meetings than on the CBS bid (REUTERS/DAILY VARIETY, 8/21). In New York, Greg Clarkin writes, "If [Turner] can't persuade his own board to back his bid for CBS, he may never win control of a TV network" (N.Y. POST, 8/21). In L.A., Larry Stewart notes that "global ambitions" are behind Turner's CBS quest. Art Rockwell, an analyst with Yaeger Capital Markets: "He wants [CBS] to give TNT leverage in bidding for sports attractions" (L.A. TIMES, 8/20). MICROSOFT DENIES INTEREST: In the wake of reports over the past few weeks that Microsoft was considering joining Turner in a bid for CBS, company spokesperson Erin Carney said, "There's nothing to it. There's a lot of speculation with no basis in fact" (L.A. TIMES, 8/19). WAITING IN THE WINGS? U.S. NEWS reports that Rupert Murdoch may be considering a purchase of CNN if Turner's bid for CBS fails. That and other scenarios were discussed in a secret August 10 meeting between Murdoch and TCI's John Malone. Turner "has reportedly said he would sell all of Turner Broadcasting if his run at the network fails" ("Washington Whispers," U.S. NEWS, 8/28-9/4 issue).