CBS CEO Les Moonves told conference goers that he expects to have a "fairly large" retrans announcement in the next few weeks. He said retrans consent discussions are already underway with a few of the major operators and he’s "guardedly optimistic" since conversations have been fairly positive thus far. Moonves also acknowledged that at some point down the road—say 10 years—CBS might nix the affiliate broadcast model and offer itself straight to video providers. At the same time, he made it clear that the network TV model "ain’t broke," pointing to CBS’ solid ratings. Despite the weak economy, Moonves said Showtime hasn’t suffered with subs up by about 1.5mln this year. "Is there potential for some of the MSOs or people to drop premium cable? I guess, but we have not seen that yet," he said. — Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said that spinning off Liberty Entertainment (LMIDA), which houses Liberty’s DirecTV stake, as an asset-based stock is a priority. Given the depressed valuations of media stocks, plans to split off a Liberty Ent stock have been delayed, Maffei said. He didn’t dismiss the possibility of combining its 3 tracking stocks into one under Liberty Media. "Although we still expect that recombining all three trackers is the most likely next step, Mr Maffei conceded that this would cause considerable discontent among LMDIA shareholders," Collins Stewart‘s Tom Eagan said in a note to clients. "To us, this was a somewhat rare admission that recombining the stocks would not honor LMDIA shareholders’ original intention." — Time Warner pres/CEO Jeff Bewkes expects to receive government and tax approvals within the next month for the planned separation of Time Warner Cable, with no changes to the transaction’s terms previously laid out. As for Time Warner post-separation, Bewkes said "the leadership position, the predictable and reliable operating performance of our Time Warner content businesses… it has been there, it’s pretty much there now," he said. Don’t look for Time Warner to go on a buying spree when it receives the planned cash infusion from Time Warner Cable. "Acquisitions have been the cause of most of the value destruction in the media [industry] and certainly for our company," said Bewkes.