IT'S PEACOCK HUNTING SEASON FOR TED TURNER
"While Wall Street and industry observers continued to
speculate about Ted Turner's pursuit of NBC, a key player
appeared to throw cold water on the prospects of such a deal,"
according to Charles Haddad in this morning's ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION. Time Warner Chair Gerald Levin said "he has seen
no proposal for merging NBC with Turner Broadcasting." Time
Warner is a 20% stockholder in TBS. Meanwhile, Turner Sports'
hiring of Mike Pearl, coordinating producer of CBS' last two
Olympic broadcasts, "fueled more speculation that Turner, who has
been shut out of the 1996 Games in his hometown, is still
pursuing [NBC]. Buying NBC would solve two problems for Turner:
Getting a national network and becoming involved in the Games of
Atlanta" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/15). The board of GE, parent
company of NBC, is expected tomorrow to consider Turner's bid to
buy a 65% stake in NBC. One unnamed analyst: "There is still a
willing seller and a willing buyer, so you have to say a deal is
possible. But enormous hurdles need to be crossed first" (John
Durie, N.Y. POST, 12/15).