Two veteran TV executives with decidedly different priorities brushed up against each other this morning. Adweek’s TVSpy reports that CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves and IAC Chairman Barry Diller were among the guests on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” for a discussion of the future of media.
According to Diller, it’s all about local. Diller was a backer of Aereo, which provided access to local TV signals to viewers via the Internet until it was shut down last year due to legal challenges — with Moonves and CBS among those bringing action against the company.
Said Diller: “All TV news, other than local news, is irrelevant. People watch local. I’ve always thought the last one standing is a local television station. I think they’re going on forever. They are the ones organized to deal with their local community. People like to know about things in their area: weather, sports. Local, local, local, is always going to be relevant for television.”
The CBS chairman, sitting next to Diller, pushed him on that point, asking whether Diller thinks CBS’s “60 Minutes” is irrelevant.
Said Diller, according to Adweek: “No, no, sorry, not saying ’60 minutes’ or documentaries and specials and things like that. The concept of the evening news — it has an audience, but that audience is declining. It’s no longer relevant.”