Is CBS Radio On An Express Lane To Independence?


It appears that it’s “all systems go” for CBS Radio‘s split from CBS Corporaton, as its latest hire indicates that the separation from its parent for an entity known for such stations as “K-Earth 101” could be in orbit within weeks — not months.

In an announcement made on Friday (11/11), CBS Radio has promoted Bob Philips to the role of Chief Revenue Officer.

Philips was formerly CBS Radio’s SVP/Sales for two years, overseeing efforts for the division’s 117 over-the-air radio stations across 26 major markets, and he’ll be based at the company’s New York headquarters. Philips reports directly to CBS Radio President, Andre Fernandez.

It’s a brand-new position for CBS Radio, and lends credence to comments made by CBS Corp. COO Joe Ianniello at a noon-hour session on Nov. 10 at the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in New York that a spin-off is in acceleration mode.

Answering a query from Wells Fargo Securities Managing Director Marci Ryvicker, Ianniello noted that the separation of CBS Radio gave CBS Corp. the liquidity to accelerate a stock buyback plan. Thus, it is now a matter of “advancing the monetization of radio” from 2017 to 2016, Ianniello said.

Philips presently sits on the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) Advisory Board and is a Charm City veteran: Philips is an officer for the Maryland DC Delaware Broadcasters Association and accelerated through the ranks at CBS Radio as Baltimore Market Manager, a position he earned in 2000. He previously held leadership positions at CBS Radio predecessor company Infinity Broadcasting and American Radio Systems.

In a statement, CBS Radio said Philips “will develop fully integrated sales solutions enabling clients to reach and engage consumers and market their brands with clear and measurable impact. He will also develop breakthrough strategies to attract new revenue streams by utilizing the Company’s multi-platform portfolio, including local radio stations, digital products, and market-leading live events and experiences.”

Fernandez noted, “Bob’s extensive radio and sales experience make him ideal to accelerate our efforts as we enter a new phase of the business. His deep understanding of corporate, customer, category, and channel strategies will be instrumental in generating new revenue opportunities and ensuring our ability to deliver top-tier financial results.”

Philips added, “It’s an exciting time for the radio industry. We’ve never had more assets at our disposal to meet our clients’ needs and extend their iconic brands – our radio stations, digital assets and events are only the tip of the iceberg.”