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CBS Q4 Financials Down, Making Strides Online

26 Feb, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Despite seeing its fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31) earnings fall compared to the same period in 2006, CBS Corp. is making huge gains online, the company shared during an earnings call with investors Feb. 26.

The company earned $286.2 million during the quarter, down more than 14% compared to the previous fourth quarter ($335 million). Revenue totaled almost $3.8 billion for the quarter, and for the year the company earned $1.25 billion, compared to more than $1.6 billion in 2006.

Despite the decline, CBS executives were upbeat about the 2008 forecast, mostly due to an influx of new media avenues for the company's content.

“CBS continues to create and distribute some of the most valuable content in the marketplace, and as always we're getting paid for it everywhere it goes and by the way, it goes everywhere,” said CBS chairman Sumner M. Redstone.

The CBS Audience Network has more than 300 affiliated Web sites, and the company says CBS is the No. 1 provider of online programming among all TV operators, with more than 190 million unique visitors.

“Content from across the entire company is pushing us forward into the interactive marketplace,” said CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves.

He said that CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution have more online outlets than ever and that the company's shows, including Showtime, had six of the top 10 selling shows on iTunes to start 2008. “In short, the new media business now taking shape is being built on the foundation of our established ones to the benefit of both,” Moonves said.

Moonves added that the recently ended writer's strike did not negatively affect CBS Corp.'s finances “in any shape or form.”

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