Chernin still mum on future, says 'nothing' to Viacom speculation
Peter Chernin is still keeping his cards close to his vest about his post-News Corp. plans, but dismissed speculation that he was headed to or being wooed by Viacom.
"Nothing, no conversations," he said when asked about rumors that he would trade one aging mogul — Rupert Murdoch — for another in Viacom's Sumner Redstone after a panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills.
When asked about his plans by panel moderator Peter Bart, the editorial director of Variety, he said he is interested in staying involved with content, whether it is producing movies and television or launching a new cable channel. Although Chernin didn't rule out the idea of getting involved in professional sports or going digital, he dismissed buying a cable network. That business is "fully priced," he said.
Chernin still has two months before he leaves his post as News Corp. president and chief operating officer on June 30.
One headache that Chernin will no longer have to deal with is MySpace. Jon Miller, the new chairman and chief executive of News Corp. Digital Media, said it is "fair" to say that the social networking site has lost buzz as Facebook has risen. But he doesn't think a turnaround is out of reach.
"The immediate stuff is to focus on the organization and get it moving under the new folks," he said after the panel discussion. That sounds like code for figuring out who at MySpace is with the new team and who is against it.
— Joe Flint
— Joe Flint