SPECIFICS BEGIN TO LEAK ON TURNER-TIME WARNER DEAL
Among the expected terms of the merger of Turner
Broadcasting with Time Warner, according to USA TODAY's David
Lieberman: Ted Turner would stay in Atlanta and run TBS' cable
channels; HBO would be folded into TBS; John Malone's TCI would
get TBS' 44% stake in SportSouth, a RSN that serves 4.1 million
homes; HBO head Michael Fuchs would take over Time Warner Music
(USA TODAY, 9/19). Most reports note that negotiations should be
done by the end of the week, although the WALL STREET JOURNAL is
reporting that a threatened lawsuit by US West, which has a stake
in Time Warner Entertainment (cable, Warner Bros., HBO) could
block the deal (Shapiro & Cauley, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/19).
TEAM PLAYERS? An editorial in today's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
praises Turner Broadcasting for all it has done to lift the
profile of the city and notes that the merger "poses a danger"
for Turner's teams -- the Braves and the Hawks. The CONSTITUTION
asks: "In the future, would the Turner sports franchises get
similar attention from top management? In theory, the two teams
will continue to operate as they do now, but it's hard to imagine
that Time Warner's bean counters would care whether the Hawks
stay in Atlanta or move to the suburbs -- or to another city, for
that matter" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/19).