Bewkes Balks At NBCU

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Apparently when Time Warner Inc. chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes says he doesn't want to take his media conglomerate down the mega-merger path again, he means it.

At a conference in Washington D.C., Friday - The First Draft of History, sponsored by the Aspen Institute and the Newseum - Bewkes said the media giant was not interested in entering the fray for NBC Universal. Comcast is in early stage negotiations for a 51% stake in NBCU.

According to the Newseum website, Bewkes avoided criticizing a Comcast/NBCU deal - "I don't want to discourage Brian [Roberts]," he said - but didn't appear to be a big fan of mega deals.

"We've wasted some of the money in deals on the corporate level...We have this new idea where we don't do that anymore," he said, according to Newseum.

Bewkes has repeatedly stated that he did not want to lead Time Warner into any transformative acquisitions and has in the past pointed to the media giant's shaky past concerning mergers.

Collins Stewart media analyst Tom Eagan said it is logical for Time Warner to sit on the sidelines for NBCU, mainly because a deal would pose more complications than benefits for the media giant.
"I think the addition of the network and the stations adds a complexity they find less appealing," Eagan said.