Buzz about a potential partnership between CNN & CBS has started to surface (once again). Brian Steinberg of AdAge.com provided some analysis of the latest rumors in his May 4, 2010 article, How CNN, CBS News could benefit from a partnership:
The news is in the news yet again. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes acknowledged Wednesday that the company's CNN unit could partner with CBS News in the near future. In a conference call with analysts, Mr. Bewkes said "it's no secret we've talked to other news organizations," and said it was "entirely possible" a deal would be reached in the next year. There are plenty of reasons why such a deal could make sense for either side.
Talks between the two parties have surfaced occasionally over the years. The costs of running a global news organization remain substantial, but audiences for broadcast news have dwindled over the long term. The networks have steadily cut staffing of their news departments as that dynamic has continued, with the Project for Excellence in Journalism estimating that network-news staffing dropped 8% in 2009, with yet more cuts taking place at ABC and CBS in 2010.
Both CBS and CNN declined to comment on potential talks. If any discussions are going on, they are informal at best, people familiar with the situation said, and neither network is poised to officially announce any pact in the near future.