THE DEAL THAT WASN'T

WHY DID AGENT MICHAEL OVITZ TURN DOWN A CHANCE TO RUN A SHOW-BIZ EMPIRE? NO ONE LIKES A DEMOTION

What does $250 million buy these days? Lots of things, but not Michael Ovitz. That wad was not enough for Seagram's CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. to lure Ovitz from Creative Artists Agency, the talent shop he built into Hollywood's prime power brokerage, to become chairman of MCA, the show-biz conglomerate (movies, music, TV shows, theme parks) that Seagram's purchased last week. Thus ended the hottest nonevent since Comet Kohoutek. Except that this one had bigger stars ready to collide. And the meteor showers may be felt for years.

"It wasn't about money," everybody said, after Ovitz told his team at last...

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