CBS Radio has made its first major move in the effort to vacate its clusters in sub-top-10 markets...by swapping.
The company has started what apparently will be a slow exit from non-major markets by entering a multi-market swap with Clear Channel.
In a deal made public today, Clear Channel picks up five CBS Radio outlets in four markets: Baltimore, Seattle, Portland (two stations) and Sacramento. In exchange, CBS gets two popular stations in top 10 market Houston. All of the outlets involved are FM stations.
Though this deal does not involve the four CBS Radio stations in Cleveland - WDOK/102.1, WQAL/104.1, WNCX/98.5 and WKRK/92.3 - it could show a blueprint for the company's future plans in the markets it plans to abandon.
We say "a slow exit" because CBS Radio is parting with just one station in those markets, except for two in Portland.
Of course, none of the local stations could go to Clear Channel here, since the company is at the limit in Cleveland...and is just getting back WAKS/96.5 Akron since it'll be attributed to the Akron market...