BIA/Kelsey Dissects CBS Radio As It Approaches IPO

It’s a 60-page independent evaluation that BIA/Kelsey has put together on CBS Radio as the broadcaster approaches its IPO. The company dug into the local advertising in each of the 26 markets where CBS Radio operates, and offers a valuation of CBS Radio under multiple approaches. Here’s what they had to say…
The BIA/Kelsey evaluation concluded that of the $146.3 billion in U.S. local advertising revenues in 2016, $64 billion (44 percent) will be generated in the 26 markets in which CBS Radio competes. Radio advertising in those markets is estimated to reach $5.8 billion this year. And digital/online local advertising in those markets is expected to generate $17.9 billion in 2016.
According to BIA/Kelsey, the CBS Radio clusters generated 46.4 percent of the radio revenue in Hartford, 35.0 percent in New York, 33.5 percent of the radio revenue in Detroit, 33.1 percent of the radio revenue in Boston and Philadelphia, and 29.4 percent in Chicago in 2015.
In 2015, CBS Radio ranked second in U.S. radio revenue at $1.2 billion, generated by only a fraction of the number of stations owned by number-one-ranked iHeartMedia, with $2.6 billion. The reason CBS Radio generates such large revenue given its relatively small number of stations is that it is concentrated in the major markets. CBS Radio has dominant clusters in the eight largest radio markets in the nation and in many of its smaller markets.
This is the first in a series of public media company profiles BIA/Kelsey plans to publish. Chief Economist Mark Fratrik said, “As CBS approaches its Initial Public Offering, we thought it was important for BIA/Kelsey to share its insights and observations from our proprietary data collected over 30 years because it offers an insightful, meaningful assessment of this important business transaction for executives and analysts who are involved and/or invested in the radio industry.”
The full report costs just under $10,000 and can be purchased HERE.


  1. Any analysis of CBS radio is moot unless it includes the dire ramifications of the FCC investigation of blatant Sponsorship violations committed by its Sports radio Flagship WFAN in the summer of 2014. A massive fine, onerous compliance agreement for all 118 stations, and diminution of CBS brand are imminent.


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