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Eye not rushin’ in on TV deal

CBS is holding early discussions about investing in a private Russian TV network, but sources familiar with the talks described the chances of a deal as a long shot.

The Eye web has held early discussions, reportedly through Eyemark syndication chief Ed Wilson, about acquiring less than 10% of StoryFirst Communications, a 4-year-old company backed by Morgan Stanley. Wilson and StoryFirst president Terry Mackin worked together at Sony Corp.’s Columbia TriStar Television unit.

A CBS spokesman declined comment. But CBS, which last year acquired Latin American news network TeleNoticias, has expressed a belated interest in overseas expansion, ostensibly as another distribution outlet for its programming. But after a spate of recent acquisitions in domestic radio and cable TV properties, the company is seen as unlikely to make any major overseas investments in the near term.

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