CBS Radio's Turnaround Under Dan Mason
November 5, 2007 at 9:20 AM (PT)
From the moment DAN MASON took over as Pres./CEO of CBS RADIO last APRIL, he emphasized programming and ratings. His results? MEDIAWEEK's KATY BACHMAN writes eight big format changes in the country's largest markets, improved ratings for four of the five stations where data are available and reams of rosy press for bringing back the Oldies format at NEW YORK's WCBS-FM.
"I never sold a day in my life," MASON said. "But if you have ratings, revenue will follow."
CBS Radio revenue could use a boost. Still digging out from HOWARD STERN's exit, the DON IMUS scandal and a soft ad market, same-station revenue slipped 7% in the third quarter versus last year -- a trend the division has been unable to reverse.
"We clearly face significant challenges," CBS CORP. Pres./CEO LES MOONVES admitted during the company's quarterly earnings call last week. "But under MASON, we believe the turnaround is under way."
Radio buyers also think MASON is on the right track. "Almost without exception, the performance [of CBS RADIO] looks better," said MEDIACOM VP/Manager Of Radio MATTHEW WARNECKE. MASON stressed that all format decisions were made at the local level: "We're not going to cram down decisions anymore."
"People want and expect music on FM," WARNECKE said. "FREE FM was just a bunch of aging rockers blabbing about things people didn't care about. It wasn't misguided, it just didn't play."
Everyone at ALL ACCESS sends our warmest congratulations to CBS RADIO President DAN MASON and his new bride, Dr. KATHLEEN DILLON. They were married this past SATURDAY (11/3) at the RITZ CARLTON in McLEAN, VA.
Among those attending: WPGC/WASHINGTON morning legend DONNIE SIMPSON, PAMAL/GAINSEVILLE Market Mgr. BEN HILL, CBS CFO WALTER BERGER, CBS Regionals DON BOULOUKUS, SCOTT HERMAN, MICHAEL HUGHES, FCC Council STEVE LEHRMAN, PEAK BROADCASTING President & Ops BILL FIGENSHU, CBS RADIO Chief Council STEVE HILDEBRANDT, CBS INTERACTIVE's DAVID GOODMAN, and his son, KDND/SACRAMENTO Station Mgr./PD DAN MASON, JR. The entertainment was provided by the legendary ALBIE DEE, who MC'd the evening.