CBS News and CNN have revived their decade-long courtship, but this time it looks serious, the New York Magazine reports.
While past discussions have failed over issues such as how top talent would be shared or which network would maintain editorial control, the current talks have progressed against the backdrop of the tough news climate.
CNN’s plunging ratings and a dwindling audience for broadcast’s evening news programs are giving credence to the business logic behind such a deal. With Katie Couric’s reported $15 million annual contract with CBS coming up for renewal in May, a blended CBS-CNN would give her the chance to highlight her interviews on cable news, similar to the way NBC News has been placing its top talent, such as Andrea Mitchell, on MSNBC.
And CNN could use some new star power. "One scenario is that if Couric vacates the evening news, she could serve as a replacement for Larry King while continuing to file reports for ’60 Minutes,’ according to the article. "60 Minutes" wouldn’t be included in the proposed partnership.
Both CBS and CNN parent Time Warner declined to comment.