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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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early 60s, Fred [J.] Borch who was then chairman of GE [General Electric], called me one day and said, “Let's have lunch.” I knew Fred. I'd never had any social life with him. I don't think we'd ever had lunch together one-on-one. But we saw each other in business circles. I said, “Fine.” He said, “Let's have lunch at the Harvard Club.” I don't know whether I was a member at that time or not. At any rate, I didn't use it. He said to me the morning of the lunch, “I've arranged to get a private room.” That sent my antenna straight up because I thought, “What is a private room for when I'm having lunch with Fred Borch?” We sat down at the table and he said, “I can get to the bottom of what I want to talk about very quickly. We want to buy CBS.” He said the plan would be to acquire eighty percent of the company, keeping twenty percent of the company public. I broke in at that point and said, “Fred, look, you're talking to the wrong guy. A decision of this kind would certainly have to involve Bill.” He said, “That's okay, but you're running the company.” I said, “He's chairman and chief executive officer.” He said, “No, no. He's not chief executive officer.” I said, “You just haven't looked at the annual report, because I think it spells it out.” He said, “I had no idea about that. I don't know the guy. What should I do?” I said, “Well, I guess the first thing to do is to meet him, and I'll have a lunch at our shop and you can come over and so forth.” Then I thought more of it, and thought if Fred Borch is seen coming in to have lunch with Paley and me, it might get people to talking. I told Bill about it. He said, “I'd have to have a contract if we made a deal that I could be --” He wanted to be something in GE. I said, “What Borch told me in the first meeting was that they would want you to be vice chairman of General Electric, but that I would be the president and chief executive office of CBS and an officer of GE and a director of GE.” Paley would be a director too. He said, “We both have got to hurry up and get contracts with CBS, so that there's no question about protecting ourselves.” I said, “Okay, but we're a little bit ahead of the parade here.” He said, “I don't want to use Colin.” Colin was his personal lawyer as well. This was another conflict that Paley and I

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