MORE SPECULATION HAS NBC LOOKING TO EXPAND CABLE PRESENCE
After yesterday's L.A. TIMES report that said GE was in
talks with Barry Diller about merging his USA Networks with
NBC, Kyle Pope writes in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL that
NBC's "search for a cable network has intensified," as the
net "is stepping up its efforts to expand its cable holdings
as the economics of the broadcast-television business
continue to sour" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/17).
VIACOM A TARGET? In N.Y., Jon Elsen notes the failed
talks between NBC and USA Networks, and floats Viacom as a
potential partner with NBC, writing, "many media industry
observers like the idea of such a combination" (N.Y. POST,
7/17). In DAILY VARIETY, Jenny Hontz reports that "several
senior industry execs believe that a new round of mergers
among broadcast networks is coming up, involving either NBC
or CBS, if not both. ... Viacom is the ideal partner ...
given its ownership of Paramount and the absence of
regulatory constraints" (DAILY VARIETY, 7/17).