OnScreen Media Summit: Moonves: CNN Deal "Doesn't Look Good"


New York --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 at the 2010 Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Media Summit at the Marriott Marquis here on Oct. 28.

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 10 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 Couric."

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 people."