"It's not a humidor, it's a piece of history."---Marvin Shanken, publisher of Cigar Aficionado magazine, whose $520,000 bid at the Jacqueline Onassis auction won him John F. Kennedy's stogie case.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHTReturn to top
TED'S STUDIO MAY SKIP THE WEDDING
TED TURNER'S CASTLE ROCK studio wants its freedom before Time Warner takes over his empire. The Hollywood production house recently got the O.K. from Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner to shop itself around, say industry insiders close to the studio. They say Turner's other Hollywood acquisition, New Line Cinema, may end up doing that, too, but it isn't making such moves now.
The issue is autonomy, which Castle Rock gets lots of from Turner, who bought it in 1993 for $100 million and assumption of $284 million in debt. Castle Rock wants out because its execs fear the Warner Brothers hierarchy is more into control. Seagram's Universal Studios is said to be eyeing Castle Rock. Time Warner's planned $7.5 billion acquisition of Turner Broadcasting awaits the Federal Trade Commission's approval.
Founded by director Rob Reiner and other big Hollywood names, Castle Rock is in a slump lately: It just announced a $60 million writedown for recent dud flicks (example: City Hall). But the studio is still highly regarded for past hits, such as When Harry Met Sally, plus TV's popular Seinfeld. New Line, maker of Jim Carrey comedies (The Mask, Dumb and Dumber), has done better. None of the parties would comment.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Ron GroverReturn to top
AT&T: NO. 1--AFTER THE OTHER FOUR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE ROBERT Allen of AT&T has taken plenty of grief for pulling down $5.8 million in salary and long-term compensation last year while laying off thousands of workers. So when the issue came up at AT&T's annual meeting, Allen was ready. Waving a copy of Upside magazine, which covers computers and telecom, he declared that AT&T showed the biggest increase in market value of any U.S. company last year.
Not quite. AT&T, with a yearend market value of $103 billion, posted a $24.5 billion gain, fifth-best. An AT&T spokeswoman says Allen meant to say only that AT&T outdistanced the high-tech companies in the Upside tabulation. Shareholders still got good value for their money, she says. Among the market-cap heavy hitters, it turns out, Allen was only in the middle of the pack.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHTReturn to top
Pay At Big Market-Cap Gainers
IN MARKET VALUE 1995 TOTAL PAY*
COMPANY BILLIONS CEO MILLIONS
MERCK $33.1 R.V. GILMARTIN $2.1
GENERAL ELECTRIC 33.0 J.F. WELCH JR. 22.1
COCA-COLA 27.3 R.C. GOIZUETA 12.9
PHILIP MORRIS 26.0 G.C. BIBLE 2.5
AT&T 24.5 R.E. ALLEN 5.8
*Salary + Bonus + Long-term Compensation
DATA: STANDARD & POOR'S COMPUSTAT, A DIVISION OF THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES
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