CBS chief Les Moonves is planning a 24-hour digital news channel designed to compete with cable news networks, he said Thursday.
“We’re not in the cable space obviously. There are already too many players there for us to start a brand new cable network,” Moonves said in an interview with Bloomberg TV host and former CBS News correspondent Trish Regan. “So we thought, with all the content going digital right now, wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel?”
“There is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute news cast at 6:30 or ‘CBS This Morning,'” Moonves added. “So we can do that. We can go direct digital.”
The CBS chairman and CEO said he and CBS News president David Rhodes have yet to set a timetable for launching the digital network, but they are searching for internet partners.
Moonves also addressed the rumors swirling about the network’s late night lineup. Joel McHale supposedly became a lock to fill Craig Ferguson‘s spot on the “Late Late Show” after Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen, tweeted a photo of the three at a party Wednesday. Comedian Norm MacDonald took it upon himself to retweet that as confirmation that McHale had been named Ferguson’s replacement.
Not so, said Moonves.
“There are no conversations underway,” Moonves said, explaining that the party in question was the first time he’d ever met McHale, and he was simply having a chat.
“Joel McHale is a wonderful talent,” he added. “We’d love to have him over at CBS in some way, but there was no discussion about 12:30.”
Also read: David Letterman Recalls ‘Two-Day, 48-Hour Phone Fight’ With Les Moonves
Neil Patrick Harris‘ name was floated as a replacement for David Letterman after the “Late Show” host announced his retirement in April, a fact Harris himself seemed to confirm in an interview with Howard Stern this week.
But Moonves said that story was “not exactly true” either.
Watch that part of Moonves’ interview on Bloomberg here: