The newspaper tycoon is in pole position to win control of Five, reports the Sunday Times. Deadline predicted Desmond would take over the channel three weeks ago. Desmond will honour long-term US programming contracts for shows include CSI and Law & Order, but will bring in more reality TV and chat-shows. Endemol is interested in bringing its Big Brother over to Five even though it decided not to bid for the channel. Desmond will also maintain Five’s public-service commitments – i.e. regular news bulletins – in order to keep that valuable high ranking on pay-TV electronic programme guides. But staff members are braced for redundancies.
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