Moonves: Simon & Schuster Is Not For Sale

CBS Corp. President-CEO Leslie Moonves, who has indicated that Simon & Schuster offers few synergies with the company's other assets, said the book publisher is not currently on the block, though he didn't rule out an eventual sale.

"At the moment, there are no plans to do anything with it," he said yesterday at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York.

Moonves said that CBS has prioritized selling Paramount Parks and a collection of radio stations.

"We don't like our company to be seen as a fire sale," he said.

Also yesterday, Moonves echoed several themes from previous appearances before investors: CBS's interest in launching a modest movie studio and in extracting retransmission consent fees for carriage of the flagship network.

The movie studio would make low-budget, low-risk films for CBS's Showtime pay-cable network, the CBS network itself and international distribution, he said.

"We would only go in on a very conservative basis," he said.

On retransmission consent, he reiterated a belief that CBS Corp.'s split with Viacom allows the company to charge cable and satellite operators to carry owned and operated CBS stations. As part of Viacom, carriage deals would be fused with MTV Networks.

"We're a freestanding company without major cable assets to pull us down in that area," he said.

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