Business: Mork vs. Barbie

Network No. 1 goes literary

Had it been an episode in an ABC sitcom, the plot summary might have read: Mork from Ork scoops up Jonathan Livingston Seagull from under the nose of Barbie. The American Broadcasting Cos., which built the hottest TV network in the industry with pop hits like Mork & Mindy, last week sprang a surprise bid to acquire Macmillan, Inc., the old-line publishing conglomerate that brought out Richard Bach's 1970 bestseller about a mythical seagull. In doing so, the big broadcaster (1978 revenues: $1.8 billion) upset merger talks that had been going on between Macmillan and Mattel, Inc.,...

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