WILL THE TURNER BOARD GO ALONG WITH TED'S NETWORK QUEST?
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,