MediaFile

A summer romance for GE and Time Warner?

June 2, 2008

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We’re moving into summer now — peak wedding time. Naturally, all sorts of mergers are on the mind.

Take a much-speculated about combination of Time Warner and NBC Universal, a subject that inevitably pops up when anybody talks about potential mergers in the media world. Thanks to Newsweek, it’s once again making the rounds.

Here’s the key takeway from the article:

And so they have begun preliminary efforts to explore a commingling of their entertainment assets-combining GE’s NBC Universal with Time Warner-in hopes of eventually igniting investor enthusiasm and pumping up their stock prices, according to media-industry executives familiar with the developments but not authorized to comment.

The article says Jeff Immelt and Jeff Bewkes, of GE and Time Warner, respectively, talked about it among a range of subjects that came up during a recent conversation. (A GE spokesman told Newsweek that the subject came up, while Time Warner declined to comment).

Other points of note in the story:

The two sides are not currently in negotiations.

Things are most likely to heat up in the fall, after the Olympics (NBC carries the games).

The two sides already appear to have an idea about how a deal would be structured.

Immelt and Richard Parsons, Bewkes’ predecessor, also considered a deal.

It’s going to be a fun summer.

Keep an eye on:

  • “Sex and the City” fashioned a surprisingly strong opening at the North American box office, as frenzied female fans used the romantic comedy as an excuse for a big party (Reuters)
  • Makers of dishwasher detergent and fabric freshener are dressing up their packaging in the hopes that consumers will showcase the bottles when they’re not using them (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Discovery Communications is introducing Planet Green, a new cable brand that will be dedicated to eco-friendly living (New York Times)
  • MTV went ahead with its annual star-studded movie awards at the Universal Studios lot on Sunday, hours after a spectacular blaze destroyed chunks of Hollywood history nearby (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters / Time Warner Center)

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