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CBS Once Again Hints At Selling Off Some Radio Holdings

CBS Radio Les Moonves Sale Selling FCC Spectrum AuctionThis morning at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Investor Conference in Palm Beach, FL, CBS CEO Les Moonves once again stated the company is looking to divest some of its radio holdings, but not its entire portfolio.

Variety reports that in regards to slimming down its holdings in medium sized markets Moonves stated, “Trimming some of that would be a good idea for us”. Yet when it comes to exiting radio completely he shot that down with The Hollywood Reporter stating that they fit in CBS’ mandate of being a content business.

Moonves also said CBS would be open to placing some of its CW and independent television stations in the tentatively scheduled for 2016 spectrum auction. Divesting some of their second television stations in major markets could allow CBS to theoretically add an additional radio station in markets like Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Last September, Moonves indicated he would like to sell around 40 or so stations over the next year or so. Just weeks later the company swapped fourteen stations to Beasley for three in Miami and two in Philadelphia.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

10 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    I hope that this is leading up to another deal or multi-market station trade that is quietly in the works (much like his previous chatter led to the blockbuster swap with Beasley).

    Unrelated, or possibly related, has the Entercom/LFM merger closed yet? Last I heard, it was still pending…

    • Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


      There was an Inside Radio item this week suggesting that the DoJ’s holdup of the deal hasn’t been resolved yet.

      • Profile photo of Lance Venta


        It hasn’t been. DOJ is still investigating whether Entercom will hold too much of the female audience in Denver and potentially demand an additional spinoff along with KKFN.

  2. Profile photo of ksradiogeek


    Which markets do you think Moonves is targeting to sell off? (Besides Hartford and Palm Springs.)

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Any market where CBS does not also own TV stations or in the Top 10 were considered to be available last fall. Whether that has changed now, I do not know.

      • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


        Would Seattle be a likely contender, even though they own KSTW?

        • Profile photo of Lance Venta


          There is still room for further radio consolidation in Seattle. Even following the sale of 104.5 KMCQ, Bonneville, CBS, Entercom, iHeart and Sinclair all have room to add or divest in some form.

  3. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    Does this mean that WTIC-1080/WTIC-96.5/WRCH-100.5/WZMX-93.7 in the Hartford area will get spun-off??

    • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


      More than likely, since Hartford is #51 size-wise and has no O&O TV station except for WVIT.

  4. Profile photo of Kenny Kissel


    Do you think Pittsburgh could be on this list? Or could CBS Pittsburgh buy another station?

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