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NEXTEL WITHDRAWS BID FOR NEXTWAVE TELECOM

Nextel Communications Inc. said it withdrew a petition asking U.S. regulators to rule on a plan to pay $8.3 billion in a hostile bid for bankrupt NextWave Telecom Inc. and its unused wireless phone licenses.

The disclosure, made in a filing at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, comes a day after a U.S. appeals court suggested that the Federal Communications Commission could revoke the 63 licenses from NextWave and auction them again.

NextWave won the licenses with a $4.7 billion bid during a 1996 auction, then sought bankruptcy protection in December 1998 when it couldn't pay the government. Nextel, operator of a nationwide wireless phone network, has pursued the licenses since August and disclosed the hostile bid.

On Tuesday, before the court released its opinion, Nextel said it planned to launch a hostile bid for NextWave and its licenses, offering $5.3 billion to the FCC and $3 billion for NextWave stock and payment to creditors. That plan has been abandoned, the company said.

Mulroney to head newspaper chain
MONTREAL (Reuters) -- Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will become chairman of Canada's second-largest newspaper chain, Quebecor Inc.'s Sun Media, Quebecor said Thursday.

Mulroney will replace Charles Cavell, who will now focus on his role as president and chief executive of Quebecor Printing Inc., the company said.

Mulroney, the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993, is a lawyer with law firm Ogilvy Renault.

Quebecor Printing, which has a printing plant in Depew, is controlled by Montreal's Peladeau family.

Quebecor won Sun Media in 1998 after a takeover battle with Sun Media's crosstown rival, Torstar Corp., publisher of Canada's largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star. The Montreal-based printing and publishing conglomerate completed the $983 million acquisition in January, merging its Quebecor Communications Inc. unit with Sun Media's operations.

Sun Media, a predominantly tabloid newspaper chain, publishes eight large urban daily newspapers, seven local dailies and 171 weeklies and other types of publications in Canada and the United States.

Naya bottler files for bankruptcy
MONTREAL (AP) -- Spring water bottler Naya Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection, unable to recover from the loss of a core distributor.

The list of creditors -- who collectively say they are owed $70 million -- was made public Wednesday by trustee Richter and Associates Inc.

Among the biggest creditors are the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and the Quebec Federation of Labour's Solidarity Fund.

Naya, based in nearby Laval, filed for temporary bankruptcy protection on Dec. 15.

The company, which employs 240 people and has annual sales of $116 million, has had problems since last May when Coca-Cola stopped distributing Naya's product and introduced its own brand of bottled water, cuting 60 percent of Naya's sales.

Of the total owed, $55.4 million is secured by company assets, according to the court documents.

New publisher at Seventeen
The game of musical chairs in the teen magazine publishing business entered another round yesterday as Primedia tapped Linda Platzner for the publisher spot at Seventeen.

Platzner, 42, was publisher of Teen magazine until last August. Teen is part of Emap Petersen's youth group division. Primedia has picked Linda Platzner, formerly of Teen, to head Seventeen.

Platzner succeeds Lori Burgess, 40, who left Seventeen in November to become publisher of Conde Nast's Mademoiselle.

Before joining Petersen in 1997, Platzner was the associate publisher at Primedia's Modern Bride.

The Seventeen publisher spot "is a plum job in the industry. We could have had anybody we wanted, and we wanted Linda," said David Tanzer, president and CEO of Primedia consumer magazines.

Seventeen is the largest teen fashion magazine with a circulation of nearly 2.4 million. Its closest competitor, YM, has a circulation of around 2.2 million. Teen's circulation is just over 2 million.

In addition to Seventeen, Platzner will also be responsible for sales and marketing for the company's youth entertainment group.

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