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CBS Radio Inc., formerly known as Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, is one of the largest owners and operators of radio stations in the United Statesmarker, fourth behind main rival Clear Channel Communications (which owns many of the radio stations previously owned by former CBS parent Viacom before 1997), Cumulus Media and Citadel Broadcasting. The corporation owns around 140 radio stations across the country. In 2002 its sales were $3.7bn, an increase of just over 1% on the previous year. It is currently part of the CBS Corporation, which also owns CBS Television and the CBS Radio Network, and jointly owns the CW television network. Infinity had operated independently of CBS until the departure of chief executive Mel Karmazin in 2004.

Until late 2004, the stations' websites were not allowed to stream their programs online. WCBS-AMmarker was the first station in the CBS able to stream their content over the internet, shortly followed by other news and talk stations. Company officials originally thought that there was no profit to be made from streaming.

History

The former CBS Radio logo as Infinity Broadcasting
CBS Radio merged with Infinity Broadcasting in 1997, and took on the Infinity Broadcasting moniker. On December 14, 2005, in anticipation of media giant Viacom spinning off the CBS television and radio broadcast properties, the company reverted the division's brand back to CBS Radio.

In August 2006, CBS Radio announced the sale of its 15 radio stations in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker; Memphis, Tennesseemarker; Austin, Texasmarker; and Rochester, New Yorkmarker to Entercom Communications. This group deal was granted FCC approval in mid-November 2007 after it faced regulatory review and numerous challenges for over a year, and officially closed on November 30. Several other stations, most in smaller markets, have also been sold to companies like Border Media Partners and Peak Media Corporation.

On April 30 2008, CBS Radio and AOL entered its partnership (following the dissolution of partnership between AOL and XM Satellite Radio due to the change in Internet royalty rates), that would give AOL access to over 150 of CBS Radio's terrestrial stations.

On July 31, 2008; CBS Radio has announced that it will sell 50 more radio stations in 12 mid-size markets to increase its focus on stations in large markets such as Greater Los Angeles, Chicagolandmarker, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York Citymarker, San Francisco Bay Areamarker, and Greater Philadelphia. CBS has already strategically planned the sale during a conference call. First-round bids are due on September 22, 2008 and among the candidates to receive books and expected to bid are: Cumulus Media, Entercom Communications, Bonneville International, Connoisseur Communications, and Tribune Company, as well as former radio industry executive Bobby Lawrence and former CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander. It is reported that KMOX in St. Louis and KDKAmarker in Pittsburgh are not included in the 50 radio station sale, however some companies like RBC Capital Markets said CBS Radio is a "melting icecube" and that CBS Corporation would be better off selling the entire radio unit rather than "waiting a couple of years and selling the rest for less."

On December 12, 2008; CBS Radio's parent company (CBS Corporation) has been named in two sharehlder lawsuits filed against them. The Wall Street Journal reports a San Diegomarker-based law firm is representing the city of Pontiac, Michiganmarker’s employees retirement plan. It claims CBS executives made misleading statements prior to the announcement of a $14 billion charge.

On December 15, 2008, CBS Radio and Clear Channel Communications reached an agreement to swap seven stations. In this deal, Clear Channel acquired WQSR in Baltimore, Marylandmarker, KBKSmarker in Seattle, Washingtonmarker, KLTHmarker and KXJMmarker in Portland, Oregonmarker, and KQJK in Sacramento, Californiamarker; and CBS Radio would get KHMXmarker and KLOL in Houston, Texasmarker. The swap was among the first examples of CBS Radio's strategy to divest its mid-sized market stations and focus on the larger markets. The deal closed on April 1, 2009.

On December 22, 2008, CBS Radio has announced that it would sell the entire Denvermarker cluster (this includes three radio stations) to Wilks Broadcasting for $19.5 Million. This is another example of CBS Radio's strategy to divest its mid-sized market stations and focus on the larger markets. The stations included in the sale are KIMN, KWLI, and KXKL.

On February 19, 2009, with the rise of Internet royalty rates, Yahoo! made a deal with CBS Radio to power LAUNCHcast.

On August 7, 2009, CBS Radio has announced that it would sell the entire Portlandmarker cluster (this includes four radio stations) to Alpha Broadcasting for $40 Million. The stations included in the sale are KCMDmarker, KINKmarker, KUFOmarker, and KUPLmarker.

CBS Radio Network

The division's CBS Radio Network provides news and sports to more than 1,000 stations, including CBS Radio's all-news stations. Westwood One provides the distribution. Among the news offerings are the hourly newscasts and updates , the morning and evening CBS World News Roundup broadcasts (broadcasting's oldest news series), the CBS News Weekend Roundup, and the affiliate Newsfeeds. Among the best-known voices on the network are Bill Whitney, Nick Young, Frank Settipani, Dan Raviv, Cami McCormick, Lou Miliano, Chris Mavridis, Kimberly Dozier and Lara Logan. CBS Radio also provides sports programming, currently marketed under the Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports banner.

Howard Stern and Free FM

From 1985 to 2005, Infinity/CBS Radio was the home of controversial and top-rated talk show host Howard Stern, who left due to increasing FCC and station censorship. In January 2006, rock star David Lee Roth, Rover's Morning Glory, and talk show host Adam Carolla replaced Stern in most major radio markets, and CBS Radio launched its new "Free FM" hot talk format in many of these markets. Roth's show was cancelled four months later and CBS Radio announced that Opie and Anthony of XM Radio would replace Roth on the stations that carried him, despite the irony that the two were fired after the sex act controversy inside of St. Patrick's Cathedral, New Yorkmarker.

, the Free FM branding has been discontinued in all markets, and no former Free FM station continues to have a hot talk format.


Jack FM

CBS Radio owns the majority of stations in the United Statesmarker that broadcast the Jack FM format, a radio format that incorporates all types of popular music from the mid-50s to the present. These include stations in Chicagomarker, Los Angelesmarker, Dallasmarker, Seattlemarker, Sacramentomarker, Baltimoremarker and many other cities. New Yorkmarker had a Jack FM station, too; that station has reverted back to its oldies format, and Jack (which has been renamed ToNY) is now carried on its HD2 subchannel.

Major League Baseball

CBS Radio is the largest broadcaster of local Major League Baseball broadcasts. However, in recent years, CBS has decided to drop most of its baseball contracts once they run out. This stems from MLB's deal with XM Satellite Radio. As part of that agreement, CBS and other local rights holders have to make their baseball broadcasts available to XM, but do not have to be compensated for it. In the past two years, CBS has dropped the St. Louis Cardinals from KMOX and the Pittsburgh Pirates from KDKAmarker, ending two long relationships between the teams and their flagship stations. However, New York Yankees games were renewed on WCBS-AMmarker. CBS's WFANmarker is the flagship station of the New York Mets and WSCRmarker is the flagship station of the Chicago White Sox. In Philadelphia CBS's 1210 WPHTmarker a frequency that had been the long time home of the Philadelphia Phillies before parting ways after the 2001 season, reacquired the team's broadcast rights in 2005.

See also



References

  1. CBS profit up 1%; sale of 50 radio stations planned - MarketWatch (retrieved July 31, 2008)
  2. CBS Kicks Off Radio Station Auction - New York Post (retrieved September 22, 2008)
  3. First bids on CBS Radio selloffs due today - Radio-Info.com (retrieved September 22, 2008)
  4. CBS, Execs Sued Over Disclosures Before $14B Charge - The Wall Street Journal (released December 12, 2008)
  5. City of Pontiac General Employees Retirement System vs. CBS Corporation (released December 12, 2008)
  6. CBS Radio to Swap Five Mid-Size Market Stations for Two Large Market Stations with Clear Channel Communications (retrieved December 15, 2008)
  7. CBS to sell three Denver radio stations to Wilks Broadcasting for $19.5 Mln cash - Update - RTTNews (released December 22, 2008)
  8. CBS Radio Sells Portland Station Group to Alpha Broadcasting - Oregon Media Central (released August 7, 2009)


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