Soft Ad Market Tackles CBS Corp.

All units within Sumner Redstone’s conglomerate feel the squeeze.

Last Updated: May 7, 2009 @ 2:25 PM

The depressed ad market put the hurt on CBS Corp. during the most recent quarter, with the company reporting a loss of $55.3 million compared to a profit of $244 million last year.

 

Revenue declined to $3.2 billion from $3.7 billion.

 

Sumner Redstone’s conglomerate saw a decline in revenue at each of its units, which include radio, outdoor advertising and book publishing businesses.

 

Leslie Moonves, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement, “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.”

 

CBS has has a good TV season, with “The Mentalist” representing one of the very few new shows to have shown stability. Veteran series “NCIS,” and “Two and a Half Men.” are also having strong years.

 

Other breakdowns:

 

– Radio revenues were down 29% to $260 million.

 

– Outdoor revenues decreased 24% to $380 million.

 

– Interactive revenues rose to $134 million from $53 million.

 

– Publishing revenues decreased 20% to $161.7.

 

Redstone’s other holding company, Viacom, last week reported weak profits and earnings. And this week saw a steady stream of bad corporate news, with Disney and Fox reporting massive profit drops.