There was no specific corporate purchase of a media company that inspired the development of the movie. The screenwriter was just reporting on the state of television in the mid '70s. Network's message of the corporate take over the news and the drive for profitable news programming was ahead of its time. Murdoch had just bought the NY Post in '76, GE was a few years from buying NBC and Disney wouldn't buy ABC for decades. Chomsky is an idiot about many things, but the ownership of media entities by other corporations is something he properly hammers. It may take decades, but creating alternative institutions to challenge that TV news dominance is what is required. In the meantime, turn on Network and enjoy fantastic '70s film making.
Note: As you watch, you realize Faye Dunaway's hard charging woman in a powerful business position was an anomaly in the '70s (portrayed as a villain) but is a woman you bump into more now (media portrays them as courageous). Here's a great line from her,
"I was married for four years, and pretended to be happy; and I had six years of analysis, and pretended to be sane. My husband ran off with his boyfriend, and I had an affair with my analyst, who told me I was the worst lay he'd ever had. I can't tell you how many men have told me what a lousy lay I am. I apparently have a masculine temperament. I arouse quickly, consummate prematurely, and can't wait to get my clothes back on and get out of that bedroom. I seem to be inept at everything except my work. I'm goddamn good at my work and so I confine myself to that. All I want out of life is a 30 share and a 20 rating."