In the last few weeks, ABC News has made 25 percent staff cuts that cost nearly 400 people their jobs. CBS is rumored to be in the early stages of making a deal with CNN to merge news operations.
It appears both networks are about to lose key anchors later this year. Katie Couric's contract will expire next year and CBS may dump her $15 million a year salary without a merger. Anderson Cooper is also nearing the end of his contract with CNN and may become a free agent since his ratings are plummeting.
Last month among the viewers most sought by television news advertisers — those between the ages of 25 and 54 — CNN finished fourth and last in prime time among news networks, behind Fox News, MSNBC and its own sister network, HLN. Ratings of some of CNN’s most recognizable hosts, including Anderson Cooper and Larry King have tumbled by more than 30 percent.
CBS’s newscast has been stuck in last place in the evening news competition for 12 years. Its morning program, “The Early Show,” also perennially trails both NBC and ABC. The high cost of news gathering has driven all the networks to institute significant staff cuts.
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank media and telecommunications conference, CBS CEO Les Moonves (Mr. Connie Chung) was asked about a possible merger of CBS News and responded, "We've have five different discussions with CNN about doing something together, and it has appeared to be unmanageable."
Of course, I wouldn't believe anything that comes out of the mouth of a CBS employee. Use the Obama Rule and expect the opposite to always be the truth.
Yesterday CBS reported its first quarterly revenue growth in more than a year, helped by a rebound in advertising. CBS shares hit a 52-week high on May 3 at $16.98 and was up 15 percent year-to-date. Shares were down 3.1% at $15.10 in after-hours trading.
BTW, An employee for NBC is one of the holders of a $266-million lottery ticket purchased in Pico Rivera, Ca. According to KNBC, a couple purchased the lottery ticket while having dinner at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on Washington Boulevard. The husband had recently lost his job, the station reported.