Les Moonves Talks 24 Hours News Network for CBS

Posted by at 4:58 pm on May 15, 2014

Leslie MoonvesCBS Corp Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is working on a 24-hour digital news network — but is not working on bringing Joel McHale to take over at host of Late Late Show. Moonves announced today, via an interview with Bloomberg Television, that he plans to launch a 24-hour digital news network, bypassing cable.

“Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has … all over the world?” he asked, rhetorically. “There is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or CBS This Morning. We can go direct digital. So that’s in the early stages, under the tutelage of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, and it’s an exciting alternative to cable news.”

He insisted there have been “no discussions to have Joel McHale take over the Late Late Show — a rumor started by Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen, when she tweeted a photo of herself and Les chumming with McHale in the wee hours of the morning on the day of CBS’ upfront presentation. And, as suspected, Moonves said he had not offered David Letterman’s Late Show job to Neil Patrick Harris.

Harris this week told Howard Stern that Moonves had asked him in a general way if he would be interested in doing a late-night show for CBS as they were discussing options for him after How I Met Your Mother, which blew up into reports that Moonves had offered Letterman’s job to Harris. “Well, it’s not exactly true,” Moonves said of those reports.

“Neil Patrick Harris has been a member of our family, and I’m very close to him personally. … So after Neil was done, we said: ‘All right, Neil, what do you want to do? What do you want to do? What are the possibilities? Want to come do a new series with us?’ And we knew probably Letterman and 12:30 might be open, late night. ‘What do you think about that?’ So it was a very general topic. So I wouldn’t say we didn’t talk about it, but he wasn’t offered it per se.”

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