CBS, Clear Channel do some radio dealing

December 15, 2008

In case you hadn’t noticed, this isn’t exactly a great environment for wheeling and dealing. That only compounds the challenge CBS CEO Les Moonves faces in trying to reshape his radio division — it’s not like there was a thriving market for radio station M&A before this whole credit crisis.

But give CBS credit. Seems like they came up with an innovative way to swap a handful of their smaller stations for a couple of  larger stations in markets that CBS wants to be in. They struck the deal with Clear Channel, which needed to get something done to satisfy regulators looking at their buyout by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.  

Here’s what the deal boils down to, courtesy of the press release:

In the trade, Clear Channel will obtain CBS RADIO’s KBKS-FM (Seattle), WQSR-FM (Baltimore), KXJM-FM and KLTH-FM (Portland, Ore.), and KQJK-FM (Sacramento, Calif.). In return, CBS RADIO will acquire two stations in Houston, the country’s 6th-largest radio market, KLOL-FM (Mega 101.1) and KHMX-FM (Mix 96.5).

We’ve heard talk that the current economy and credit situation would prompt companies to take a look at different, innovative sorts of deals. This one was done on a small scale, but perhaps a signal of things to come for the media business?

(Reuters photo of Les Moonves)

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