Henry Yuen: Taking Tv Guide To E Land

Henry Yuen knows something about turning tables. Yuen, 50, announced on Oct. 4 that his Gemstar International would purchase TV Guide in a stock swap valued at $9.2 billion. It was only last year that Gemstar, with 1998 revenues of $166 million, was itself the target of a failed hostile takeover by United Video Satellite, which then went on to buy TV Guide from News Corp. Now the prey has captured the hunter.

Yuen is best known as the mastermind behind VCR Plus, which helps couch potatoes program their machines. He has since devised an interactive program guide that sorts TV listings on screen. Gemstar will rename itself TV Guide International and try to push the weekly's print advertisers to its electronic version. But Yuen has bigger plans for TV Guide: He sees it becoming a conduit for e-commerce, whereby clicking on an ad will allow viewers to make a purchase. In that case, every channel will be a shopping channel. Consult your TV Guide for details.