Another part of CBS dies

When CBS Radio was spun off and merged into Entercom creating Audacy, the CBS branding of CBS Sports Radio was agreed to be sunseted. While that date was pushed out, April 15th 2024 is the final end of CBS Sports radio.

Audacy declared bankruptcy a few months ago, and this change may be partly for financial reasons. Jim Rome is the marquee talent of CBS Sports Radio, and he is also starting to drift away from Audacy, moving the video broadcast of his show to his own venue on X.

In an interesting twist, the service will be renamed Infinity Sports Network. The integration of Infinity Radio into CBS was a very important event and failure. Mel Karmazin of Infinity was very aggressively trying to push radio toward younger audiences, creating freeFM and hiring talent like Howard Stern and Don Imus.

The risk averse Westinghouse/CBS was locked into the 1950s, wanting to continue the legacy of Edward R Murrow. They spit out Infinity broadcasting and Mel became the #1 villian of over the air radio (see: NAB) when he took over Sirius satellite radio and brought Howard Stern with him.

The battle is over. Sirius/XM now has over 30 million subscribers who are willing to pay around $20 a month to not have up to 24 minutes per hour of commercials on their radio. Virtually all new cars come with Sirius XM built in, at the same time the car makers want to drop AM radio from their entertainment systems.

In a footnote, Shari Redstone (daughter of viacom’s Sumner Redstone) is looking for an exit for Viacom/Paramount/CBS TV. She is currently working on a deal with David Ellison, son of Oracle Co-founder Larry Ellison, but the financing has not been finalized. Long time readers will know about the “Three Generation Rule” and how it inevitably leads to collapses of family fortunes.

Apollo Capital Management made an all cash offer which was rebuffed and would have broken the family bonds which will undoubtedly cause the eventual failure of this venture. Shari Redstone is not her father. Apollo Capital Management would make rational decisions about disposing of assets since they don’t have an emotional tie to the past.

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