Skip to main content

The Video that Started it All: CBS Head Les Moonves Mentions Negotiations With Amazon

Les_Moonves_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_Festival[1]Late last night the WSJ and Reuters broke the story that Simon & Schuster was in negotiations with Amazon for an unnamed reason. They cited CBS CEO Les Moonves as their source, and sparked a whirlwind of coverage.

It’s 12 hours later and we still don’t know any additional details, but I do have something to share. Both the WSJ and Reuters got their story from an interview which Les Moonves gave at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference (which ends today).  The interview was conducted by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky, and it has been posted to Youtube.

I have embedded the video below. The talk about Amazon starts around the 14:10 mark, and it’s well worth your time to watch. Moonves reveals that he is far more ambivalent to Amazon than most people in publishing industry, including people who work for S&S.

The video doesn’t support my speculation that Amazon is in talks to buy S&S, but it does suggest that Moonves is open to the idea of working more closely with Amazon by – well, let’s just leave that sentence unfinished. I’m done with my speculating on this topic, so I’m not going to finish that thought.

Similar Articles


Mackay Bell July 17, 2014 um 3:20 am

The only thing sexier than publishing for a giant corporation to dabble in is television. And the only thing sexier than that is film. Since CBS already has a huge television presence, and is trying to move into film in a bigger way, it makes sense to me they might sell off their publishing operation.

Frankly, it would make a lot of sense for them to get rid of the legacy printing. With all their content, they would be smart to start a new digital publishing company later without all the dead weight of S&S.

Nate Hoffelder July 17, 2014 um 6:33 am

Actually, I would say that online video is sexier than film. And CBS already does that in a half dozen different ways.

Paul July 17, 2014 um 9:50 am

Usually it means they found a tax loop that they want to exploit.

Amazon Signs New Contracts With Bonnier, Simon & Schuster – The Digital Reader October 22, 2014 um 12:26 pm

[…] The Simon & Schsuter negotiation, on the other hand, was much less bitter all around. The first that anyone knew that there was a deal in the works was when CBS head Les Moonves happened to mention the detail in an interview in July. […]

Write a Comment