What's Next for Media's Big Dogs?

From AOL Time Warner to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., EchoStar's DirecTV deal has everyone reassessing strategy

It was a telephone call between titans. On Oct. 27, Rupert Murdoch, at home in New York's SoHo district, rang up cable-programming magnate John C. Malone at his suburban Denver ranch. Minutes earlier, Murdoch had pulled out of the bidding to buy satellite-TV operator DirecTV from General Motors Corp. His conversation with Malone was much friendlier. "They were two guys who had just lost a big one," says a source close to both men. "The next thing out of Malone's mouth was, 'Where do we go from here?'"

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