The Network Starter Kit

With audiences fragmenting and costs soaring, the broadcasting business has never been tougher. So why does everybody want in?

No one would call Lowell (Bud) Paxson a dimwit. He is an unusual sort of TV executive, certainly: a born-again Christian who makes more money than headlines and counts among his achievements the Home Shopping Network, which he sold for a bundle in 1992. Nor would Barry Diller, a genuine TV honcho who makes a lot of money and headlines, qualify as anything less than bright. But each is about to embark on what would appear to be a fool's errand: starting a new television network in an era in which audiences are fragmenting and network profits disappearing. Paxson and Diller...

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