TURNER STILL SHOPPING FOR A NETWORK
Speaking to a Museum of Television and Radio breakfast
yesterday, Ted Turner "reiterated his desire" to purchase a Big
Three network. In addition, Turner confirmed that he would be
meeting with Time Warner later this week to try to work out a
deal in which Time Warner would no longer hold its stake in
Turner Broadcasting, estimated at 20% (DAILY VARIETY, 9/21).
Financial and regulatory issues make buying a network difficult
for both companies if Time Warner retains its sizeable stake in
Turner Broadcasting (Charles Haddad, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/21).
TBS TO REDEEM DEBT: Turner Broadcasting announced yesterday
that it will redeem $540M of its most costly long-term debt.
Prudential Securities media analyst Sharon Williams viewed the
redemption as a "routine financial move": "It's part of a general
effort to keep the cost of borrowing down" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
THE NETWORK SHUFFLE: GE has retained investment banker
Allen & Co. to explore selling all or part of its NBC unit, and
is in discussions with Time Warner and Disney, among others (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 9/21)....In L.A., Alan Citron and John Lippman
report that CBS Chair Laurence Tisch has made "overtures" to
former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg about running the network
on a day-to-day basis as well as expand its entertainment
holdings (L.A. TIMES, 9/20).