The Walt Disney Co. chairman Michael Eisner told Cable News Network's Lou Dobbs Monday night
that both he and AOL Time Warner Inc. chairman Richard Parsons want to get a deal
done to combine the news operations of ABC and CNN.
"Then what's to stop it?" asked Dobbs. "Hopefully, it will move forward,"
Eisner didn't see any regulatory obstacles to the deal, saying: "This is very
pro-consumer." Nor did he see problems with the financial split or operating
control, although he said the talks have not progressed that far.
"ABC would have to have control over what goes over the ABC TV network, and
CNN would have to have continuing control over what goes over CNN," Eisner said.
But Eisner made it clear that he wants the deal to be done. He also expressed high
praise for AOL Time Warner vice chairman Ted Turner and, seemingly, hopes for his role in a newly combined
operation. "You have a fantastic founder of CNN, and I look to Ted Turner as one
of the major assets of CNN," he added.