Radio the Millstone Around CBS' Fiscal Neck

07 May 2007

NEW YORK: US Broadcasting giant CBS is pointing to its radio interests as the financial millstone around its neck. The business blames several underperforming radio stations and an advertising drought for depleting its first-quarter earnings. Even a stronger-than-expected 2.3% increase in revenue failed to prevent a decline of 5.9% in net income.

The core television business saw operating income fall 9% in the first quarter.

All major American broadcast networks have suffered viewer declines this season, with CBS' average primetime audience down year-on-year by 6.5% between September 18 and April 29, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CBS ceo Leslie Moonves (pictured above) seeks salvation by demanding that advertisers pay for ads seen by DVR households. He vows: "We will get paid for DVR viewing, turning a current problem into a big and ongoing asset."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff