agreed to buy Turner South, TBS Inc.'s Atlanta-based regional sports and entertainment network. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. With the purchase, L.A.-based Fox Cable acquires the 7-year-old channel's local telecast rights to Atlanta's sports teams the Braves, Hawks and Thrashers.
The Turner South acquisition brings to 15 the total number of Fox Cable owned-and-operated regional programming networks that together reach more than 80 million cable and satellite subscribers. Fox Cable is a unit of the Fox Networks Group that includes 29 cable and satellite programming networks in which News Corp. holds interests.
- Intermix Media Inc. founder Brad Greenspan sued the L.A.-based Web-site operator, saying its $580 million sale to News Corp. didn't reflect the growth prospects of MySpace.com. The suit filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, accuses Intermix directors of breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to obtain maximum value for shareholders and by not disclosing to them critical information about the deal information that would have led shareholders to vote against the deal, Greenspan said in a statement. He wants News Corp. to "unwind" the transaction and auction off Intermix or pay billions of dollars in compensation.
Greenspan has long been a critic of News Corp.'s offer. He has been a thorn in the company's side ever since his ouster in 2003, alternately claiming the role of shareholder advocate and wronged former executive. In September, Intermix's board unanimously rejected a proposal by Greenspan to buy a significant interest in the company.
- Hilton Hotels Corp. announced it completed its acquisition of the lodging assets of Hilton Group plc for approximately GBP 3.3 billion ($5.78 billion). "Hilton is once again a global hotel company for the first time in over 40 years," said Stephen F. Bollenbach, co-chairman and chief executive of Hilton Hotels, in a statement. Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels announced the deal to buy Hilton Group on Dec. 29. Hilton Hotels now has nearly 2,800 hotels and 475,000 rooms in 80 countries.
In related news, Standard & Poor's on Thursday cut its ratings on Hilton Hotels to junk status, citing substantially higher debt levels following the close of its acquisition of Hilton Group. All ratings for Hilton were removed from CreditWatch with negative implications. The outlook is stable.
- Entravision Communications Corp. reported fourth-quarter net income of $3.4 million (3 cents per share), compared with $2.6 million (2 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the Santa Monica-based Spanish-language media company rose 8 percent to $73.2 million from $68 million in the year-prior period.
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