POWER MOVE: Expanded partnership with popular TuneIn app by adding 80 CBS music stations, for the first time enabling listenership on mobile devices anywhere in the United States.
THE RUNDOWN:Compared with broadcasters operating upwards of 500 stations, CBS Radio’s portfolio of 127 stations in 28 markets might seem small. Yet CBS reaches nearly 70 million unique listeners every week because it owns stations in many of the country’s largest cities, including the 10 biggest radio markets. “There’s nothing wrong with radio in smaller markets,” president/CEO Dan Mason says. “There’s just a lot more national advertising dollars available in New York.”
Under Mason, CBS programming emphasizes three primary formats: top 40, country and sports talk. To further its goals, the company even began meeting with labels to examine potential partnerships. “That’s a major sea change from five years ago,” he says. “These meetings never used to happen, but it’s good for both industries and helps to re-kindle their natural relationship.”
CBS’ digital strategy is also tightly focused. Despite a recent deal putting all of its station streams on TuneIn, CBS is also using a localized digital strategy combining assets from radio with its TV properties. That approach dovetails with what Mason feels is CBS’ most important focus: local broadcasting. “As long as we retain our localism, there will always be a place for radio,” he says. “Our stations are involved in their local communities, and you don’t get that from most online platforms.”