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CBS Radio Revenues Drop 19% in Q3

But Moonves says pacing is up for radio, TV, outdoor

CBS Corp. late last week released what its executives call strong results for the third quarter given the troubled economy.

For the entire company, Q3 revenues totaled $3.35 billion compared to $3.38 billion for the same quarter last year; the decline was due to lower advertising sales that it said were largely offset by higher syndication sales.

CBS President/CEO Leslie Moonves said advertising pacing “continues rising steadily for TV, radio and outdoor, and we expect that with our new streamlined cost structure, margins will improve significantly going forward as well.”

Radio revenues for the third quarter decreased 19% to $318.9 million from $392.5 million for the same prior-year period, primarily due to continued weakness in the radio advertising marketplace. Marci Ryvicker at Wells Fargo Securities, reacting to the news, said radio revenues showed “substantial improvement” from Q2.

Radio operating income before depreciation and amortization for the third quarter decreased 33% to $93 million from $139 million as lower talent and employee-related costs resulting from restructuring and cost-savings were offset by lower ad revenues.

Operating income for the third quarter was $51.1 million, which included an impairment charge of $31.7 million due to station spin-offs, compared to an operating loss of about $3.2 billion for the same prior-year period, which was weighed down by an impairment charge of $3.3 billion to reduce the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets.