CBS has always had a crush on Time Warner's CNN, but the network's overtures have always been brushed off, after sending several "Do you like me? Circle one:" notes in the past. CBS just sent another note, and Time Warner circled the same response, and even underlined it for emphasis. CBS tag-teamers Sumner Redstone and Leslie Moonves talked about how CNN would look nice in CBS blue at the annual shareholder meeting. A Time Warner spokesperson issued the following response, "CNN is not for sale and is doing very well as part of Time Warner. Please suck it." Struck by Fox envy, the last time CBS made a push for CNN was in 2003.
If there's no chance of an acquisition happening, why did CBS float the idea? According to media investor Harold Vogel, "It's a trial balloon to see if anyone bites on the idea; they're shaking the tree a bit." The most recent public proclamation of CNN love may be CBS' way of waving the white flag after the failure of the "Couric is magic" news revitalization strategy. From Variety:
With "The Early Show" averaging 3 million viewers and "Evening News With Katie Couric" last week dipping below 6 million, it's more difficult than ever for the Eye to establish its own next generation of stars to replace Bob Schieffer, Leslie Stahl and company.
CBS still pondering CNN pairing [Variety Business]