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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Thirdspace: When was it filmed?
    Date: 2/20/2001 7:01:00 PM  

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>Check my earlier response: Someone posted that PTEN was expected to become a
>network. I disagreed, saying that it wasn't set up for that and that the
>wouldn't have set up WB if that's what PTEN was created for.

Incorrect, that's *exactly* what PTEN was created for. The problem they faced
was that the stations they enlisted wanted an equity position (which is to say,
they wanted to own a piece of the network). The position of WB is that they
don't give anybody an equity position on anything...they'd rather own 100% of
nothing than 50% of something. (It's insane, I know, but that was their
position at that time.) So at the end of the day, the stations that made up
the lion's share of PTEN, the Chris-Craft stations, went to Paramount, which
DID offer them an equity position, and formed UPN.

Later, WB tried again and put together the WB with a different approach,
similar in some ways to what was used to create UPN. At that time, what was
PTEN was dissolved after B5's 4th season, and the rest of the emphasis went
into creating the WB.

>I've heard what others have said about the internecine warfare. Yes, it
>does seem like an insane way to do business. Despite that, Warners isn't
>completely insane. They would not have set up two competing corporate
>entities each trying to become the fifth television network.

Which is actually what they did...the corporate figures behind PTEN kept trying
to keep it together as WB was being born because the two fiefdoms are run by
different people and each has some amount of prestige on the line.

It's really not one company, it's different people in different divisions
trying different things with little or no cross-departmental cooperation.


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