COMPANY TOWN

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Television: Westinghouse Electric Corp. Chairman Michael Jordan said he expects the company's $5.4-billion deal to buy CBS Inc. to close in November and that he does not expect any competing bids. Jordan, who made the remarks Monday in suburban Dallas at a ceremony opening a new Westinghouse office, added that the company is talking to various advocacy groups who say they are opposed to the deal, citing Westinghouse's record in children's programming. Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse still needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission and CBS shareholders for the purchase, announced Aug. 1. Said Jordan of the advocacy groups: "We don't think that's going to be a major issue. They have challenged almost every transaction and we've worked with them before, and our record at Westinghouse is very strong on both children's programming and public access." Jordan did not offer any estimate of the number of layoffs that may be necessary to make the CBS stations profitable, but he said it "would not be a major issue. I mean, their problems are more market share and marketing issues, and we intend to help them with that," he said. While there are advantages to owning broadcast content, "there are more content providers than there are distributors, so we're always going to be in demand and able to choose among content suppliers for the best programming," Jordan said. "We think integrating backward 100% to content's sort of a Sears Roebuck strategy, and we'd rather be Wal-Mart," he said. Separately, public records show that Jordan spent $133,800 last month boosting his Westinghouse holdings to 30,008 shares. Jordan bought the 10,000 shares at $13.38 each.

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