TechTV hires banker to shop network

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Long-struggling cable network TechTV has retained an investment banker to
look for partners or buyers.

Greenbridge Partners LLC's Mike Yagemann, who has long worked on deals for TechTV
owner Paul Allen, is "exploring strategic alliances" for the network, which
could include an outright sale.

Industry executives said that is Allen's preferred outcome, hoping that he
can recover the estimated $450 million he's sunk into the network ($320 million
to buy it three years ago, plus $120 million in operating losses, according to
one industry executive familiar with the network).

But TechTV acting CEO Joe Gillespie said there is "a range of different
companies that could influence both our distribution and marketing."

He added that he's interested in boosting the network's 40 million-subscriber
distribution and finding some company that could cross-promote TechTV with its
own product lines, although he said that wouldn't necessarily be another cable
programmer.

TechTV has attracted little viewership in its eight years of operation,
unable to find a groove despite flipping through a few different programming
models.

The current approach calls for a blend of documentaries, how-to programs and
old techie movies and TV series.

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