Are CBS Radio Stations Being Mismanaged?


More from the Ryvicker note where she states that there are concerns with the integration given “CBS Radio’s underperformance.” She writes, “CBS Radio’s underperformance vs. the industry and Entercom seems to have resulted from poor management vs. station portfolio or brand.” And she believes Entercom can turn that around within 12 months.

CBS Radio is home to some of the most recognized brands in the business, such as: WFAN, 1010 WINS and WCBS in New York, WBZ in Boston, WBBM in Chicago, KROQ in LA and many others. Ryvicker says “CBS Radio has great brands that have been mismanaged – thus there is real opportunity for growth in ratings and revenue. This should be good for Entercom and the industry, which has more or less lacked a leader for quite some time.” It’s worth noting that CBS Radio has consistently been ranked the second highest billing radio company, in the BIA/Kelsey revenue ranker, behind only iHeart with far fewer stations.

For example, in 2015 CBS Radio’s revenue was 1.25 Billion generated from 117 radio stations, compared to iHeart’s $2.6 Billion from 862 stations. And in 2016 CBS Radio owned four of the top ten billing radio stations in the country. Of course, since the merger was announced there has been a lot of expense cutting going on (see WOGL Philadelphia) as Entercom looks to produce at least $25 million in synergies for investors.

If the stations are being mismanaged that has to be tough for previous boss Dan Mason to be watching.


  1. The word Synergies seems to be the culprit. Before selling out to Warren Buffett, Media General’s newspapers were crowing about creating news synergies which resulted in a circulation slide locally. Too many synergies in radio programming has lead to the same thing. In the Roanoke Va market, iHearts synergies caused their country station which used to be the market leader to loose 75 percent of their audience, in my opinion. The Legendary Brands of CBS were not created by synergies that eliminated good local programming. Wonder if Synergies to benefit shareholders led Wells Fargo to create fake bank accounts.

  2. The other commenters are spot-on! Any claims by a non-radio person/investment analyst for Wells Fargo (of all morally-challenged banks) about how wonderful the death of CBS Radio allegedly is to promote creation of a “better managed” super-conglomerate is beyond insane.

    Vital competition will be eliminated, while local radio product profoundly suffers. That’s the “better management” that may look great on a balance sheet to investors in China, but offers no benefit to the American public. With respect to news/talk in particular, expect the proliferation of one-sided political talk, more net shows and the slashing of local news departments on blue chip stations that have been among the best brands in the business.

    The issue has nothing whatsoever to do with alleged mismanagement by CBS’s talented pool of programmers and GM’s, who’ve been left in limbo waiting for the giveaway of their stations.

  3. Once again we have created ‘geniuses among us’ who feel self righteous enough to make this unsubstantiated claim. Operational expertise is not on her resume.

  4. What would Ryvicker know about running a radio station? How would she know it’s mismanaged? Would love to see how’d she perform running a large market radio sales department. She’d melt. They all do.


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