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CBS: Radio Sales Were Off in Q1

Moonves: Plans to spin off radio business are “moving forward”

Against the context of an otherwise enthusiastic quarterly financial report at CBS Corp., radio revenues were down 2%.

The company said that local broadcasting revenues, when counting both CBS television stations and CBS Radio, grew 9% from a year earlier, helped in TV by the Super Bowl, political ad sales and growth in retransmission revenues.

“Local broadcasting operating income for the first quarter of 2016 increased 28% to $206 million from $161 million for the same prior-year period,” it stated. “The increase was driven by higher revenues as well as lower expenses as a result of restructuring activities the company put in place to create efficiencies.”

For CBS Corp. overall, Chairman/CEO Leslie Moonves said in an announcement, Q1 was a “spectacular quarter,” citing revenue growth (up 10% to $3.85 billion in the quarter) and records in “all key profit measures.”

But Moonves reiterated his plans regarding radio: “As we grow our company on the strength of our premium content, we are also moving forward with our initiative to separate our radio business, which will unlock value for shareholders and further diversify our revenue streams.” Exactly what shape that separation might take and who might pick it up have been questions of much speculation and analysis since Moonves raised the topic again in March. CBS not long ago also spun off its outdoor advertising business.