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Letters

The Lion's Legacy

June 16, 2002

It should be noted that the four classic MGM films cited by Robert W. Welkos as part of that company's "storied history" are no longer owned by the studio ("A Lion Laid Low," June 9). They and about 2,000 other pre-1986 MGM titles and the studio's fabled Culver City lot were sold to Turner Broadcasting 16 years ago.

Thanks to the foresight of Ted Turner, the films' current owner, AOL Time Warner--through its far-flung cable television and home video divisions--now profits handsomely from the toil of long-gone MGM stars, writers, technicians and financial investments.

Reading Welkos' article, one would never know that the cause of MGM's sad decline is fairly simple: As majority stockholder over most of the past 33 years, Las Vegas entrepreneur Kirk Kerkorian has systematically gutted the studio to finance the building of hotel-casinos, an airline and assorted other ventures, periodically reinventing the company to great fanfare, but always conspicuously leaving it a lion bereft of its teeth.

A.L. HERN

Los Angeles

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