UPDATE, 3:16 PM: Is Les Moonves now, once again, Dan Rather’s boss? Well, a little: Turns out CBS isn’t simply partnering with AXS TV– as the companies framed the arrangement in their announcement today. The network giant has an equity stake in the channel formerly known as HDNet, Moonves told analysts this evening. He didn’t say how much CBS owns of the network which airs Dan Rather Reports or how much it paid, if anything. “Having the power of CBS I’m sure we’ll be able to increase [AXS TV’s] affiliate fees, but it won’t be part of our negotiations,” he said. Moonves added that entrepreneur Mark Cuban’s channel will be able to offer “shoulder programming” for live events CBS airs; for example it could have had a show featuring backstage scenes at the Grammy Awards. “It’s a very exciting new prospect for us.” Cuban’s partners at AXS include AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative Artists Agency.
Here’s the release: (more…)