News In Brief

Insurance giant Aetna Inc. declined a $10 billion takeover offer from a Dutch-US consortium and announced a split into two independent companies. The Hartford, Conn., carrier said it would divide its financial services and healthcare arms in an effort to raise profits and its share price. The unsolicited takeover bid came last month from ING of Amsterdam and WellPoint Health Networks of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

In one of the largest news media deals in US history, Times Mirror Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, agreed to be purchased by Chicago-based Tribune Co. The $6.5 billion transaction gives the combined company a stable of daily newspapers from coast to coast, 22 TV stations, three radio stations, 17 outdoor recreation magazines, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. But analysts said obtaining regulatory approval could be problematic because the company would own both dailies and TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore/Washington, and Hartford, Conn.

Radio One Inc. was expected to announce the purchase of 21 additional stations for more than $1.3 billion, making it the largest black-owned media company in the US. The additions will give the Lanham, Md.-based company outlets in 48 markets and double its staff to 1,400 employees. Twelve of the stations will be bought from Clear Channel Communications Inc., which must divest itself of some of its properties under terms of its merger with AMFM Inc.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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