Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 115
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.


     News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch "made an aggressive and
personal response" to the regulatory challenge posed to his Fox
Television network, saying that Fox had fully informed the FCC of
all details of its ownership structure in '85. The NAACP has
challenged Fox, saying that Fox did not "make clear" to the FCC
that the amount of foreign ownership in the network would
"greatly exceed" the 25% limit.  Speaking at a news conference in
New York, Murdoch responded directly to comments by federal
regulator Roy Stewart that he was not aware in '85 that News
Corp. was supplying 99% of the equity for Fox.  Murdoch: "He did
not say we misled him or the FCC.  Nor did he say we were not
candid.  He said he simply didn't know."  Murdoch "attempted to
counter any damage" that Stewart's comments might have done by
citing declarations from three former FCC staffers that Fox's
applications had made clear that News Corp. was supplying the
equity.  Murdoch accused the NAACP and NBC, which had also
challenged Fox's foreign ownership until dropping its case, of
"abusing the regulatory process" (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 2/28).
As part of the formal response, 48 Fox affils submitted letters
of support, and African-American producers of two Fox shows
submitted letters "applauding the opportunities" Fox gives
minority producers (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).  The FCC is  also
studying whether NBC's decision to drop its complaint against Fox
was a result of an improper "greenmail" arrangement (Paul Farhi,
     TURNER IN THE EYE:  TBS Inc., in the wake of failed merger
talks with NBC, has resumed talks with CBS Inc., according to
this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The talks are "preliminary"
according to those close to the talks, but  CBS is reportedly
asking about $5.3B.  TBS is said to be weighing a stock-and-cash
offer.  Wall Street analysts believe CBS Chair Laurence Tisch is
under "increased pressure" to make a deal because the network's
ratings slide will soon "translate into lower revenue and
profits."  Others reportedly interested in CBS include former QVC
Chair Barry Diller and Walt Disney Co., "long-rumored" to be a
suitor (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).