CBS posts $9 billion loss on TV and radio

CBS last week reported a loss of $9.1 billion in the fourth quarter to write down the value of its radio and television businesses.

It was the first time CBS reported earnings as a separate company since its separation from Viacom. CBS reported the fourth quarter as if it were already a separate entity.

The write-down lowered the value of CBS television assets by $6.4 billion and those of the radio unit by $3.05 billion. On a per-share basis, that was equivalent to $5.99.

The bottom line was weighed down by charges to write down the fair market value of its radio and television properties. The latest results compared to an even larger net loss of $18.4 billion, or $10.99 per share, in the comparable period in 2004, when the company also recorded big charges to write down its radio stations as well as its outdoor advertising business.

The results were less gloomy than analysts had forecast, Bloomberg News reported. CBS hopes to counter the effect of sluggish broadcast advertising with revenue from Web sites and the sale of TV programs on handheld devices.

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