Bewkes Discusses CBS/CNN Talk on Call

By kevin Comment

In an earnings call this morning, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes was asked about the reported negotiations taking place between CBS and CNN. From Bloomberg:

“It’s no secret that we’ve talked to other news organizations in the past,” Bewkes said on a conference call today. “It’s entirely possible that the parties, and there could be other parties, could come to an arrangement that makes sense before the next 12 months.”

B&C’s Marisa Guthrie reports that Bewkes said, “We don’t have anything definitive to tell you about right now,” but did explain, “The questions of motivation is not because of CNN. It’s more because of the imperatives of broadcast news.”

He also said, “We need to work on making the [programming on CNN/U.S.] more compelling.”

The NYTimes’ Bill Carter writes that any deal between the two organizations might have a few notable obstacles:

First, there would be problems involving union contracts: CBS’s news division is unionized; CNN’s is not. Contracts for on-the-air employees would also probably have to be renegotiated. And the issue that has derailed previous efforts for both CBS and ABC to unite with CNN would still have to be resolved: Which company would have editorial control over the news programming?

> Previously: CBS and CNN in Partnership Negotiations?