Don't expect a CBS News-CNN merger or joint venture
anytime soon, according to CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves.
"Right now, it doesn't look good," he said
in an interview with B&C Executive Editor Melissa Grego at the 2010 Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Media Summit at
the Marriott Marquis in New York.
Moonves acknowledged he has discussed different arrangements
with CNN parent Time Warner, but there have been too many deal points that the
sides haven't been able to sort out.
"It's no secret we've had
conversations," he said. "The structure is very different,
it's hard to cross over in a meaningful way, they are based in Atlanta,
we are in New York. They are non union, we are a union shop, it's a
tough nut to crack. We tried ten years ago and we tried last year, it's
just been a difficult thing. It's hard to make a joint venture with a
division of the company. It's hard from a content point of view,
who's in charge, who's making the last decision, there are a lot of
little points, it's not just we'll share Anderson Cooper and Katie
And speaking of Couric, Moonves mirrored his recent comments
at the University of Texas that the news business was changing, but did not
clarify that if Couric re-signs with CBS, she will do so at a cut salary.
"I'm a huge Katie Couric fan I am very happy we
brought here to CBS, I know there was a lot made about how much money she
made," he said. "We haven't begun discussion on the extension
of her deal, and I'm not going to negotiate in front of 300