GOODBYE TO A PRODIGAL SON

SONY'S NEW BOSS OUSTS A SPENDTHRIFT AMERICAN AND TAKES DIRECT CONTROL OF THE U.S. OPERATIONS

EVEN BY HOLLYWOOD'S STANDARDS, Michael Schulhof was a notoriously big spender. As the chairman of the U.S. operations of Sony Corp. and protege of company founder Akio Morita, Schulhof set out to build an entertainment empire that would create movies, records and other "software" for Sony's hardware: TV sets, vcrs and gadgets of the future. He started slowly at first by acquiring CBS Records for $2 billion in 1987. The real spree began in 1989 when Schulhof paid $3.4 billion for perennial also-ran Columbia and its sister TriStar studios. He immediately spent some $800 million more to recruit Batman producers Jon...

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