'TV Guide' deal links Murdoch and Malone

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In a $2 billion deal that links Rupert Murdoch and cable TV mogul John Malone, News Corp., New York, said it is transferring TV Guide and its properties to United Video Satellite, Tulsa, Okla., which will be jointly controlled by News Corp. and TCI Ventures Group/Liberty Media Corp. The deal will also include TV listings magazine Cable Guide once News Corp. closes its previously announced acquisition of its publisher, TVSM. United Video operates cable TV's Prevue Network program listing service.

Under terms of the deal, News Corp. will be paid $800 million in cash and receive stock in United Video worth an estimated $1.2 billion. News Corp. will own approximately 40% of the new and larger United Video; Mr. Malone's TCI Ventures Group and Liberty Media Corp. will own approximately 44%; and public shareholders will own the remaining 16%. But News Corp. and TCI Ventures/Liberty media will each control about 48% of the voting power in the new company.

Existing managements remain in place pending future decisions about executive arrangements. David Steward is president-CEO of TV Guide. Peter C. Boylan III is president-chief operating officer of United Video.

News Corp. acquired TV Guide along with Daily Racing Form and Seventeen from Walter Annenberg in 1988 for $3 billion, a sum Mr. Murdoch later admitted was too high.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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