John Malone's Liberty Media Group is cementing a closer association to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., as expected, by Liberty transferring a 21% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide International to News Corp. The deal gives Liberty an 18% stake in News Corp., making the company the largest shareholder in News Corp. after Rupert Murdoch and his family. News Corp. now has a 43% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide, which puts out interactive programming guides on TV as well as the weekly TV Guide magazine. Some of the Gemstar stake will be folded into News Corp.'s satellite TV subsidiary Sky Global Networks, which is being prepped for an initial public offering. Mr. Murdoch also is believed to be preparing a bid for DirecTV, the largest satellite broadcaster in the U.S.
Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.