U.S. Business: ITTs New Network

The plot of the behind-the-scenes TV drama outclassed anything on the tube. Aggressive but cash-short American Broadcasting Co. had been casting about for a merger partner for more than three years, and had huddled, at one time or another, with a number of prospects, including General Electric. West Coast Financier Norton Simon had bought control of 9.9% of ABC's stock, was regarded as a persistent — and unwanted — suitor. Finally, late in 1965, months of on-and-off talks with another acquisition-minded and seemingly more suitable partner, International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., blossomed into an agreement to merge.

The final act came last...

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