CBS explores strategic options for its radio business

US media conglomerate CBS is exploring strategic options for its radio business, CEO Les Moonves yesterday said at an Investor Day gathering in New York.

''The aim here is to unlock value for our shareholders,'' he said, and added ''we'll be looking at all'' options.

Analysts say that the announcement includes a sale or spinoff of CBS historic radio division.

The decision highlights to the sway that digital music, podcasts, mobile devices with streaming music that has over commercial radio, which is no longer considered a growth industry since advertisers now put more dollars to digital platforms.

But the US radio industry still generates annual advertising revenues of around $17 billion, according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau.

The proposed spin-off or sale comes two years after CBS spun off its billboard unit.

CBS Radio, earlier known as Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, is one the US largest radio chain behind main rivals iHeartMedia, Inc, Cumulus Media, and Townsquare Media.

It has 117 stations in 26 markets having an estimated 72 million listeners nationwide each week and also has an extensive array of digital assets.

It stations in include leading news stations like KNX-AM (1070), KRTH-FM (101.1), KROQ-FM (106.7), KCBS-FM (93.1), KAMP-FM (97.1) and KTWV-FM (94.7).

Although it does have any debt like other major radio broadcasters, CBS Radio revenues fell 6 per cent in 2015.

CBS took a $484 million impairment charge after concluding that the value of stations in 18 markets due to a sustained decline in industry projections for the radio advertising marketplace since 2014.