CBS president and CEO Les Moonves revealed what he sees as the silver lining coming out of his company’s long fight with Time Warner Cable over retransmission fees.
In a conference call during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Media, Communication & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills, Moonves was asked whether CBS would jump into the pool of groups buying and selling stations. “There are a few stations in the CBS affiliate group that we don’t think are particularly well run,” he said. “Those are the ones we look for as opportunities [to buy]. We say, if we took them in we could make them substantially better,” taking the GM’s of his owned stations off the hook when he made it clear he was talking about the stations CBS doesn’t own.
“By the same token, I guess, in some of our smaller markets,” said Moonves. “There might be a station or two, if the offer is right, that we would sell. But guess what?” he added. “The value of these stations over the last 12 months has gone up substantially and right now people know why. They’re all saying, ‘Oh my God! Retrans is a serious amount of money.’ Stations, therefore are much more valuable than they ever were.”