A Tv Coup In Mexico

In an upset, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, head of Elektra, the country's biggest consumer-electronics retailer, has won two government-owned national TV channels and 126 movie theaters with a $641 million bid. He beat out three lower bidders, among them a group including Paramount Communications Inc. and Capital Cities/ABC Inc. The 37-year-old executive, who admires but is not related to President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, says he sees no need to improve his channels' bland news formats. This comes as a disappointment to Mexicans hoping for an alternative to the dominant Televisa network's pro-government coverage. Analysts also think the winning group is too weakly financed to give Televisa much competition.

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