Correspondents are increasingly wearing a path between CBS News and CNN.
CBS News inked a deal with CNN that will allow chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta to file up to 10 reports a year for “The Evening News With Katie Couric” while keeping his full-time job at CNN.
Deal is similar to that struck last spring allowing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to appear on “60 Minutes.” Cooper’s first “60 Minutes” story, a piece on the Abu Ghraib torture whistleblower, aired Sunday on the Eye and ran a second time on CNN.
CBS news and sports prexy Sean McManus said he sees CNN as fertile ground for partnerships and recruits. “We view the way they cover the news the same way we do, and we are always following the careers of correspondents at other networks,” he said.
In addition to Gupta, CBS News signed former CNN “American Morning” correspondent Kelly Wallace and former CNN tech reporter Daniel Sieberg. Both will work full-time for “Evening News.”
Execs at Time Warner and CBS have long considered a merger between the news orgs, but talks fell apart over the years over issues of control.
McManus, who’s in the midst of a rebuild of CBS News, said no broad relationship with CNN is being considered, but the nets would consider talent deals if they make sense for both parties.
“I think CNN realizes, as do we, that in the end, if it’s good for the correspondent, it’s probably going to be good for CBS News and for CNN,” he said.