CBS Takes Q4 Hits to Revenue, Income


The economy continues to take its toll on the ad-driven media, as evidenced by CBS' 6 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue to $3.52 billion and 46 percent dip in operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) to $448.9 million.

For the full year, revenue fell 1 percent to $13.95 billion, with a 17 percent slide in OIBDA to $3.07 billion. Those figures do not include the $14 billion write down (or "impairment charge," as the company calls it) CBS took in the third quarter.

Net earnings for Q4 slipped 50 percent to $136 million. For the year, including the impairment charges, the company suffered an $11.7 billion loss.

CBS said about half of the Q4 decline was attributable to weaknesses at the network and the other half stemmed from shortfalls at the company's owned TV stations. (Click here for complete CBS earnings information.)

During a conference call with financial analysts, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said the company was managing costs closely so it could "capitalize on the upturn when it occurs." He said the network TV and interactive units were fairing somewhat better than local TV, radio and outdoor.

Guidance for 2009 was vague, but Moonves did say the second half of the year would improve because of cost cutting that would take effect. About $220 million in cuts for the year are planned. In addition, new cable-network syndication deals for five new programs will kick in.

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