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May 16, 2005

CBS announces unsolicited bid for Newsweek

After trading closed on Wall Street today, Viacom/CBS announced an unsolicited offer to acquire all outstanding assets of Newsweek Corporation in a surprise takeover bid. Larry S. Kramer, the head of Viacom’s CBS News Division, explains:

“We felt like it was a natural fit. I saw Mark Whitaker’s[Newsweek’s Editor] comments come across the wire and I was immediately impressed. Mark said 'We're not saying it absolutely happened but we can't say that it absolutely didn't happen either.' Well, obviously that dovetails nicely with our newsroom motto of 'Fake, But Accurate'. It just seemed like a logical fit.?

“We should be able to recognize some economies of scale in the merger." Larry explained. "Not in fact checkers, as we don’t currently have any of those in our newsroom, and tentative feelers have indicated there are none at Newsweek either, but we figure that we could fabricate the news stories with less people. The same “fake but accurate? stories could be printed in magazine form, and aired on the small screen, for a substantial savings of cost.?

"Plus, both of our stocks[Viacom/CBS and Newsweek] seem to be tracking downward at about the same rate of descent" Larry observed. Responding to skeptical stock analysts after the bell, Larry observed "I'll admit pricing this thing is tricky...it's a lot like trying to catch a falling star."

Larry moved to squash rumors that Eason Jordan would be asked to run CBS’s Bureau of Military Affairs.

“While we would love to have someone with a proven track record like Eason Jordan, the reality is that, at this point, we just can’t afford to bring him on board. I was impressed with his comments at Davos, as were many of my colleagues, I am sure. It takes guts to fabricate a demonstrably false story that undermines our military at a time they are in grave danger. But to trot the fabrication out in front of countries known to oppose our foreign policy at a tony gathering of Europe’s pseudo-intellectuals to see if the story has legs, that takes kiwis. Eason is our kind of man, but he’s playing out of our league. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become a senator one day.?

Larry went on to say that their new motto would tentatively be “Fake But Accurate: Even if it didn’t happen, it very well could have.?

Posted by Peenie Wallie on May 16, 2005 at 11:51 PM

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