03/19/2002 12:00AM

Boylan of Gemstar resigns

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Peter Boylan, a co-president of Gemstar-TV Guide - the parent company of Television Games Network - and a strong supporter of TVG, has resigned in the wake of a $600 million loss in 2001 for Gemstar-TV Guide.

The year-end loss, which was blamed in part on a writedown of investments in technology companies, is the second in a row for Gemstar-TV Guide Inc. The company had a net loss of $186 million in 2000.

Stock in Gemstar-TV Guide plummeted $5.69, or 26 percent, on Tuesday, to $16.04. It was as high as $90 as recently as 18 months ago.

During a sometimes bitter arbitration battle, Boylan had fought for control of TVG's interactive technology in the late 1990's as president of United Video. That company later combined with TV Guide, which merged with Gemstar in 2000. John Hindman, TVG's general counsel and vice president for communications, said that Boylan's departure would not negatively affect TVG, citing the tenure of TVG's current chief executive officer, Mark Wilson. "Mark's been our chief executive officer for 3 1/2 years, and that's not changing," Hindman said. "It's business as usual for TVG."

Boylan had trumpeted TVG's potential to investors and the racing industry, saying the network needed six years to turn a profit but would ultimately be successful in generating new fans for racing.

TVG lost at least $100 million in the past three years. Hindman declined Tuesday to say how much the network lost in 2001, and Gemstar officials did not return phone calls. In 2000, the latest year for which figures are available, Boylan made $851,000 in direct compensation and $943,000 from the sale of stock options.