CBS plans to sell off assets
CBS plans to sell off or spin off its radio assets in the coming year, including all six stations that it owns and operates in Philadelphia, network chairman Les Moonves said Tuesday during a presentation in New York, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The Philadelphia CBS Radio properties include four of the top 10 rated radio stations WOGL 98.1-FM (2), KYW NewsRadio 1060-AM (4), country music station WXTU-FM 92.5-FM (8) and SportsRadio WIP 94.1-FM (10) as well as pop music station AMP 96.5-FM and talk station 1210-AM.
Last summer, as CBS Radio announced several job cuts around the country that included well-known local on air personalities and key executives and sales team members, rumors had already began to surface that the network was looking for a buyer.
In recent months Moonves has hinted that CBS was leaning toward selling some or all of its stations. CBS took a $484 million write-down on the value of its radio station group in the fourth quarter, citing “the sustained decline in industry projections for the radio advertising marketplace since 2014," reports PBJ. Cumulus Media, the nation’s second-largest radio station owner behind IHeartMedia, has been mentioned as a potential buyer of the CBS group.
CBS is the fourth-largest owner and operator of U.S. radio stations behind main iHeartMedia, Inc, Cumulus and Townsquare Media. CBS owns 117 stations in 26 markets total, including clusters in big markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.