Paramount Chairman Martin Davis, the Odd Man Out

For Martin Davis, the embattled chairman of Paramount Communications, these are soul-trying times. Just four months ago, Davis engineered a merger agreement with MTV-owner Viacom Inc. that would have made him chief executive of one of the world's media giants. But Hollywood wizard Barry Diller, who now chairs the QVC home-shopping network, crashed in with a hostile bid for Paramount that triggered the first major takeover battle of the 1990s. Paramount directors spurned Diller at first but endorsed his bid in December after Delaware court rulings compelled them to entertain all offers. The board last week reaffirmed support for Diller's bid,...

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