NEW YORK CBS News said on Tuesday it was not in
discussions with CNN over a joint venture, disputing a report
in The New York Times.
The Times reported on Tuesday that the unit of CBS Corp had
rekindled discussions recently to outsource some of its
news-gathering operations to the cable news channel owned by
Time Warner Inc.
"We're extremely satisfied with and proud of our
news-gathering operation," CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius
said when asked about the Times report. "No outside
arrangements are being negotiated."
CNN, the first U.S. 24-hour cable news network, has held
discussions with CBS News over the past 15 years, said a source
familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to talk
A CNN spokeswoman was not immediately reachable for
CBS Corp has made no secret of its desire to combine with
or buy CNN in the past. At the Reuters Media Summit in 2006,
former CBS Chief Executive Mel Karmazin, now CEO of Sirius
Satellite Radio, said, "I thought CBS News and CNN, to this
day, should be combined."
"I would be candid and say when I was CEO (of CBS), would I
have like to have owned CNN? Yeah," Karmazin said.
Walt Disney Co's ABC News unit has had opportunities in the
past to do deals with CNN, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger
said at a media industry gathering sponsored by Newhouse School
But, "We were not interested in anything like that," Iger
said in response to a question about outsourcing news
gathering. "We were interested in a true joint venture."
The most recent talks between CBS News and CNN had centered
on sharing off-air resources in Baghdad, the source said. But
the two sides failed to reach an agreement over issues such as
(Reporting by Kenneth Li, editing by Mark Porter)