CBS Profit to Climb $180 Million on Political Ads, CEO Says

CBS Corp. profit will climb by $180 million this year from political advertising, Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said, exceeding the amount received by the company in the last presidential election year.

Political action committees are boosting the amount of money being spent on television and radio commercials in support of candidates and issues, Moonves said today at an entertainment law conference at the University of California, Los Angeles. CBS will take in more political ads than the 2008 presidential election year, he said.

“Super PACs may be bad for America,” Moonves said, “but they’re very good for CBS.”

Broadcasters are already drawing record political ad sales from the Republican presidential primaries, a super-PAC-driven windfall that will grow even larger in the general election. CBS Corp. owns 10 television stations in battleground states, more than Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, Comcast Corp.’s NBC and News Corp.’s Fox, the other major broadcast TV networks.

CBS, owner of the most-watched broadcast network, rose 0.9 percent to $30.81 at the close of Friday trading in New York. The company, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, has gained 14 percent this year.