Report: CBS Radio Going Up For Sale...To Cumulus?
January 21, 2013

Last week, CBS announced that it plans to sell off its outdoor division. Now rumors have begun that the media giant is considering spinning off more of its holdings, including CBS Radio. Sources tell the New York Post that there is speculation that Leslie Moonves is open to a potential sale of the radio unit, "as he looks to reduce the company’s reliance on advertising and shed slower growth businesses."

An anonymous entertainment executive told the Post that Moonves is "trying to diversify. He’s actively looking. He’s got to do something. And he’s not being shy." Sources told the paper that a sale of CBS Radio is possible any time in the next 12 to 24 months, and Cumulus head Lew Dickey "has already sent out feelers" to CBS about purchasing the radio division. A Cumulus-CBS merger would essentially put the #2 radio ownership group on par with Clear Channel. Cumulus and CBS are already working together to syndicate CBS' new national Sports Radio Network.

One source suggested to the Post that Cumulus could buy CBS Radio through a spinoff structure known as a reverse Morris trust, which would "minimize the tax hit to CBS."

Despite all of these rumors, a spokesperson for CBS told the Post flat-out, "We are not selling CBS Radio."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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