despite its current prime-time success, woe is CBS on the heels of its earnings announcement. From the LA Times:

A rapidly deteriorating economy is making it difficult for CBS to capitalize on its resurgence in prime time, where viewership is up 6% over last season, a notable achievement at a time when network TV is experiencing an audience exodus. In addition to “The Mentalist,” the network has notched gains for sitcoms “Two and a Half Men” and ” How I Met Your Mother,” the Navy forensic drama “NCIS” and the news magazine ” 60 Minutes.”

Even “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,” pummeled by critics after an embarrassing start with Couric in the anchor chair, has increased its audience about 1% this season.

But all that isn’t of much help right now for CBS, which is uniquely vulnerable to the recession because nearly 70% of its revenue comes from advertising. TV and radio stations have been battered as mainstay advertisers such as automakers, financial firms and retailers have slashed spending. Unlike media rivals Time Warner Inc., Walt Disney Co. and News Corp., CBS doesn’t have a broad stable of cable channels pouring in subscriber revenue to offset advertising declines. – read the rest on

Unless there is some upside surprise in the earnings announcement, I don’t see how Moonves will be able to get away with not doing what NFL commissioner  Roger Goodell (who wasn’t making nearly as much as Moonves) did and take a paycut.

Separately when General Electric announced earnings today, GE chief Jeffrey Immelt declined his 2008 bonus of $11.7 million in light of performance.  No word if there was any trickle-down declining at GE owned NBC from the likes of Jeff Zucker.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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