CBS Corp. may follow up the planned divestiture of its overseas billboard business by selling CBS Radio. Cumulus Media is a likely bidder for
the company’s broadcast radio assets, according to a report in the New York Post.
With around 525 radio stations across the U.S., Cumulus is already the second-largest broadcast radio group in the country after Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (formerly Clear Channel Radio), which owns around 850.
If Cumulus acquired all 127 of CBS Radio’s
stations, it would still be about three-quarters the size of Clear Channel in terms of sheer numbers, but it would control a big slice of the radio audience and might outweigh Clear Channel in a
number of top markets.
CBS is denying the rumor, with a spokesperson quoted as saying: “We just bought a major station in New York and launched the CBS Radio Network. We are not selling CBS Radio.”
Still, the NYP reports that the planned sale, which could take place in the next 12-24 months, is part of a broader strategic restructuring of CBS Corp. by President and CEO Les Moonves, who wants to shed less profitable properties to focus on higher-growth businesses.
Last week, CBS revealed plans to spin off its U.S. outdoor advertising business and sell its outdoor properties in Europe and Asia, including thousands of billboards, as well as a variety of smaller signage. According to the company, its European businesses include assets that represent around 50% of the overall outdoor market in the Netherlands, 23% of the outdoor market in the U.K., and 15% of the outdoor market in Italy, as well as 32% of the large-format roadside signage in France.