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Will GE Sell NBC Universal to Time Warner?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 24, 2009 at 7:54AM

As the reeling economy puts more pressure on Hollywood's giant conglomerates, and the Internet looms as the ultimate unknown devaluator, The Daily Beast's Kim Masters reports that at some point in time, whether it's sooner or later, General Electric will be forced to unload NBC Universal--no matter how well it's doing--and that Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes might not be able to resist buying it:
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As the reeling economy puts more pressure on Hollywood's giant conglomerates, and the Internet looms as the ultimate unknown devaluator, The Daily Beast's Kim Masters reports that at some point in time, whether it's sooner or later, General Electric will be forced to unload NBC Universal--no matter how well it's doing--and that Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes might not be able to resist buying it:


The main lure for Time Warner meanwhile, would be NBC Universal’s cable channels: USA, Bravo, Sci-Fi, and CNBC. Those would go nicely with Time Warner’s HBO, TNT and TBS. And while no one’s getting rich off news, CNN and NBC News could make a strong combination. Universal Pictures, on the other hand, would likely be folded since Time Warner—which owns Warner Bros.—has no need for another film studio. Yes, that would truly be the end of an era. But industry veterans believe that there’s every reason to expect a number of eras to end in the foreseeable future in the entertainment world, just as big names are vanishing in other industries.

This article is related to: Media, Cash Crunch, Stuck In Love


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.