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PAT ROBERTSON BIDS FOR NEWS WIRE SERVICE

Pat Robertson is a millionaire preacher and former presidential candidate whose $6 million cash offer for United Press International (UPI) promises to expand a media empire that already includes cable television and radio networks.

The Yale-educated Virginian's bid - the lone offer for the venerable but bankrupt wire service - made jaws drop at a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Rutland, Vt.

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Many analysts have suggested it could take a miracle to restore UPI to financial health. But analysts say mainstream media have often underestimated Robertson's business skills by focusing on his his ultraconservative religious views.