Tuesday, May 23, 2006

CBS Radio to Exit Two Ohio Markets

CBS Radio has been making noises about selling its smaller-market stations for something close to a year now, but the company has finally nailed down which markets it expects to exit.

The company says it intends to sell all of its stations in 10 markets, including the company's entire clusters in Columbus and Cincinnati. That'd leave only Cleveland in the CBS Radio portfolio in Ohio. (You can read the whole story at Radio & Records Online.) Other soon-to-be-former CBS Radio markets include Austin, Buffalo, Fresno, Greensboro, Kansas City, Memphis, Rochester, and San Antonio.

It's interesting that CBS is keeping some clusters that are in slightly smaller markets than some of those being divested. For example, while they jettison Columbus and Cincinnati, CBS suits are hanging onto markets like Las Vegas. Analysts speculate that expected market growth in sunbelt areas like Las Vegas and Orlando are driving CBS to keep those clusters.

The move comes as no surprise to CBS Radio Columbus VP/GM Valerie Brooks...who tells R&R that she'd expected the stations could have been sold at any time since the company picked them up from Jacor in 1998. Brooks tells R&R she's not worried about new ownership, calling the cluster's stations "fabulous stations with great sellers and air talent".

CBS Radio owns country WHOK, alt-rock WAZU and classic rock WLVQ in Ohio's capital city, and country WUBE, oldies WGRR, hot AC WKRQ and alt-rock WAQZ in Cincinnati. Staying with the company will be the Cleveland cluster of AC WDOK, hot AC WQAL, alt-rock WXRK and classic rock WNCX...


Anonymous said...

Why is CBS staying in Cleveland and selling the Cincinati stations? If I am not mistaken, Cleveland is # 25 and Cinci is #26. I thought that because Cleveland does not get to count Akron and their radio stations, was not that large (at least in the eyes of Arbitron and radio markets) and was considered mid sized. Could this be a sign of things to come for more CBS corportaion purshases in the Cleveland area?

Anonymous said...

3 of the 4 signals that CBS owns in Cleveland are among the best in the market. CBS has always preferred to have solid signals, which they have there.

Plus the cashlfow that the CBS Cleveland cluster brings in is significantly higher than Cincinnati. Cashflow is important to a company that is focusing on paying quarterly dividends to their shareholders.