EXHAUSTED CEO RETIRES: JDS Uniphase said that Kevin Kalkhoven has retired as co-chairman and chief executive. Kalkhoven, 55, said he was leaving because of exhaustion after several years of 100-hour weeks and that he would start a venture capital fund. JDS Uniphase is the largest component manufacturer for fiber optic equipment. He will be replaced by Jozef Straus, 53, JDS Uniphase's co-chairman, president and chief operating officer.
COURT UPHOLDS CABLE OWNERSHIP LAW: A U.S. appeals court upheld the law limiting cable television ownership by a single company, prompting the Federal Communications Commission to reinstate its national rules in a setback for AT&T Corp. The FCC set the ownership limit at 30 percent of pay-TV subscribers, including cable and satellite TV customers, or about 25-million households. The action comes as AT&T seeks approval for its proposed $54.4-billion purchase of MediaOne Group Inc., creating a company that will exceed the limits. AT&T-MediaOne will reach about 40 percent of homes and has asked the FCC for 18 months to comply with the rules.
AIRLINE TRAVEL SITE DRAWS INVESTIGATION: A planned travel Web site financed by Northwest, Continental, Delta, United and American airlines is under investigation by the Justice Department for potential federal antitrust violations. The site has not yet been named and is not expected to be online until the end of the summer. It will offer plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and cruises. Alex Zoghlin, the Web project's chief technology officer, said in a statement that the group is "confident that (the) site meets all antitrust requirements."
USA NETWORKS ACQUIRES DIGITAL CABLE
NETWORKS: USA Networks Inc. said it bought two digital cable-television channels for about $100-million as chief executive Barry Diller looks to move the media company beyond traditional cable TV. USA Networks acquired North American Television Inc., a joint venture of Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and closely held Power Broadcasting Inc. The venture's holdings include the Trio Network, an arts and entertainment channel, and News World International, a news channel. The two 24-hour networks are available in about 13-million U.S. homes by satellite or cable.
TREACHER'S UNDERGOES EVOLUTION: Arthur Treacher's Inc. is shedding its name and considering putting its seafood restaurants up for sale. Now called Digital Creative Development Corp., the company will focus on providing Internet content and high-speed Web access. It also will invest in businesses and has put money into a venture capital fund that finances online start-ups. The company has lost money for four years and was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in February 1999 for not having enough assets.
DRKOOP.COM CUTS STAFF: Cash-strapped drkoop.com is reducing its staff to save money, a company spokeswoman said. The Internet health company co-founded by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop laid off 30 employees Thursday. Spokeswoman Laura Hicks said she wasn't sure exactly how many workers remained employed as of Friday. Late last month, the company said it only had enough cash to survive four months. Drkoop.com shares rose 16 cents to $2.50.