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CBS COO PROVIDES SPECIFICS ON CBS RADIO SPINOFF

Speculation about the future of CBS Radio triggered by the recent announcement that it would be spun off from the parent company ramped up following comments by CBS Corp. COO Joe Ianniello (pictured at right) at Tuesday's Nomura conference.

According to radio newsletter Tom Taylor Now, Ianniello answered a question about whether things are “on track” to jettison radio in surprising detail. “Lessons learned from some other radio companies that are probably over-levered,” he said provocatively. “We’re not going to do that.” But there will be “a fair amount of leverage” that returns cash to parent CBS, because radio “has the stable cash flow that can support that.” Meaning CBS Corp. is looking at a likely “big capital return” next year.

And although CBS has repeatedly stated that all options are open with regard to CBS Radio, Ianniello never mentioned a non-IPO path to separating from radio, and he wasn’t asked about a possible sale of the stations, Taylor noted, adding that all signs point to the two-stage IPO/total spinoff.

Ianniello also revealed that CBS would consider a reunion with Viacom just the way the board would weigh “any other transaction.”

In a related item, the newsletter reported that legendary jock Scott Shannon, who’s  doing the morning drive at WCBS-FM New York, will emcee the NAB Marconi Awards in September and the National Radio Hall of Fame ceremony on 11/17.

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