In Business This Week: HEADLINER: JERRY JUNKINS
JERRY JUNKINS, TEXAS TRAVELER
Jerry Junkins died with his boots on. Junkins, 58, the small town Iowa boy who rose to become CEO of the Lone Star State's Texas Instruments, one of the world's top chipmakers, died May 29 of a heart attack while en route to a business meeting in Germany. Junkins joined TI in 1959 as an electrical engineer and moved rapidly through manufacturing and management positions. He took over the reins while TI was struggling in 1985 and revitalized the memory-chip business that today delivers the bulk of TI's profits.
As TI's financial turnaround took hold, Junkins became a well-traveled advocate of global trade. He was one of Big Business' leading advocates for the North American Free Trade Agreement and later lobbied to win business and congressional support for the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade, which helped set new rules for global financial markets. In 1993, he created an office of the chief executive, naming executives William Mitchell and Pat Weber as vice-chairmen. For now, the two will run day-to-day operations.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLAND By Gary McWilliamsReturn to top
RUPERT: WIRED FOR CABLE NEWS?
IN THE RACE TO ESTABLISH A rival to Turner Broadcasting's Cable News Network, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is displaying both bluster and caginess. First, he announced that News Corp. would pay cable operators about $10 a subscriber if they carried his Fox all-news channel, scheduled to premiere this fall. That contributed to ABC's May 23 decision to scuttle plans for its own 24-hour cable-news channel. Now, though, it looks as though Murdoch won't have to pay as much as he offered to line up subscribers. News Corp. is rumored to be in talks with Tele-Communications in a deal that would give TCI a stake in the Fox channel in exchange for carrying Fox's news channel on TCI's systems, which reach 13.5 million subscribers. News Corp. declined to comment. A TCI spokesman confirmed that the companies were talking but declined to confirm whether TCI was considering taking an equity stake.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top
ANTHEM: HAPPY WITH THE BLUES
FOR FIVE DECADES, THE living was good for Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans. Then, managed care arrived. Not so good. Finally, the Blues "recognized that position and brand are ephemeral if all they do is stand there and go it alone," says Merrill Lynch analyst Margo Vignola. Hence the advent of nationwide consolidation--and the acquisition, announced May 29, of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Jersey by Anthem, a giant Indianapolis-based health insurer. Anthem will give the New Jersey company capital and back-office economies. And Anthem gets entree to East Coast customers.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top
MILKEN ISN'T A FREE MAN YET
NOT SO FAST....THE FEDERAL government isn't quite ready to loosen its grip on former junk-bond mastermind Michael Milken. On May 28, Federal Judge Kimba Wood extended Milken's probation, scheduled to expire on May 31, for 60 days while the Securities & Exchange Commission determines whether he violated a consent decree that bars him from "association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, investment company, or municipal securities dealer." In 1995, Milken's role as a consultant for the likes of Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch caught the SEC's eye. Milken's lawyer says he expects the court to find no violation.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top