TURNER GETS THUMBS UP TO CHASE PEACOCK

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Ted Turner has been given the go-ahead by his major shareholders to pursue his dream: acquiring NBC. John Malone, CEO of Tele-Communications Inc., said today that he told Turner to "Go get 'em." Time Warner -- which with TCI controls over 40 percent of Turner Broadcasting -- has also reportedly told Turner that it would not block an NBC bid. Both media giants say they'll alter their ownership structures to make a Turner deal for NBC do-able, but they’re likely to demand top dollar for their stakes. General Electric seems eager to sell at least some of NBC and renewed negotiations are likely to begin within two weeks. Still, Turner has long way to go before achieving his long-held dream of owning one of the Big Three. "It's still all very preliminary," says TIME senior writer Richard Zoglin. "A deal could be years away." Malone acknowledged as much, noting that he doesn't "put high odds" on a Turner acquisition.