Recurring rumors of CNN partnering with a broadcast network are nothing new, but New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reports that sources say CBS News and the cable network are in “advanced negotiations” at the moment, with one source telling NYMag that talks have been going on for months:
CBS News and CNN are in advanced negotiations about signing a news-gathering partnership, according to executives familiar with the discussions. The talks revolve around how the two news divisions can combine operations in a bid to cut costs and expand audiences on both sides. While such conversations have occurred over the last decade, the current news-business climate — plummeting CNN ratings, ever-shrinking evening-news audiences, major layoffs at ABC — make a deal more logical than ever before.
There are already a lot of talent-ties between the networks. Erica Hill, Betty Nguyen, and Elaine Quijano left CNN for CBS earlier this year, and Anderson Cooper regularly contributes reports to one of CBS’ flagship programs, “60 Minutes.”
“CBS Evening News” EP and former CNN president Rick Kaplan recently described CNN as being “in a freefall.”
Last summer, CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus told TVGuide of a partnership with CNN: “Nothing is on the horizon. Having a cable partner would be nice, but if I look at the coverage any one of the major events that have taken place in the last two years…I think we’ve done as good a job or a better job than any other news organization whether it’s cable or network.”