US TV Guide Ponders its Future

11 July 2007

NEW YORK: Controversy-dogged Gemstar-TV Guide International has engaged the services of investment bank UBS to look at options for its future, including a possible sale.

The News Corporation-owned company, publishes the eponymous TV Guide magazine in the US. Its other holdings include a cable channel and patents on electronic program guides for TV.

Gemstar came under Securities and Exchange Commission scrutiny over its accounting practices between 2000 and 2002.

In 2005, its founder and former ceo Henry Yuen pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice; and in 2006 a US federal judge ordered him to pay $22.3 million (€16.3m; £11m) for fraudulently inflating revenue.

The new management team is led by Richard Battista whose efforts to steer the company out of its difficulties were praised by chairman Anthea Disney

Seemingly quoting from a dictionary of business clichés, she said: "We are now poised to investigate the range of available strategic alternatives for continuing to build shareholder value."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff