Dan Rather has enthusiastically endorsed the reported efforts of CBS and AOL Time Warner executives to bring about a merger of CBS News and CNN. In an interview appearing in Thursday's New York Observer, Rather indicated that such a relationship could expand his ability to report on international news -- a topic that all networks, including his own, are inclined to pass over, he said. "I would love to do the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," he told the Observer, "and then turn around at 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. at night and do the CNN Global News with Dan Rather and [the] resources of CBS. ... As a news organization, that would be amazing." Rather also revealed that he made an effort to extricate himself from his contract at CBS and join CNN in 1997 but was unable to do so. "If I could have gotten there, I would have gone there," he said. Nevertheless, he expressed concern that a merged CBS News-CNN might result in CBS replacing its news programming with entertainment. "I would not want to be part of anything which winds up to be the diminution, much less the dissolution, the dissolving, of CBS News as a worldwide news-gathering organization," Rather said.