From time to time, some expert will predict that television is about to go the way of newspapers and music: disrupted by technology and broken into its constituent parts, with the dollars that used to flow like a mighty stream magically reduced to little droplets of digital dimes and pennies.

And yes, it may happen someday. But the news that AT&T will seek to buy Time Warner for $85 billion shows that it’s not going to be soon. The executives who run the major telecom and television companies are proving to be tough, wily, and ready for a long battle. Compared to the genteel folks in the news and music industries, these guys are like the Medellín cartel.

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