CBS forecasts second-half upturn

11 May 2009

NEW YORK: National television, radio and posters company CBS says it expects its media markets to rebound strongly in the second half of 2009 and this to be reflected in the imminent ‘upfronts' when clients and their media agencies make their TV bets for the year.

Chairman Sumner Redstone says “I have no doubt a recovery is coming in the not too distant future. CBS will be the first to deliver significantly better results.”

Chief executive Leslie Moonves added “we are confident that the second half of the year will bring improved results due to a strong slate of syndication releases, the effect of cost reductions that were made last year and early signs of an improving local advertising marketplace.”

Moonves echoed rival media magnate Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox, by emphasising the importance of local advertising to recovery hopes. May is already showing signs of a strong rebound across all categories after a dire start to the year. Even automotive advertising is showing some signs of recovery.

CBS reported a surprise $55m (€74, £83m) loss in the first quarter (analysts were expecting a modest profit) with overall revenues down 13%, led down by radio (29%) and outdoor (24%).

But the company underlined its confidence in an improving media market by running a national media campaign trumpeting its recent ratings performance ahead of the upfront negotiations.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional conternt by WARC staff