CBS still on the prowl

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Acquisition-hungry CBS Corp. is striking again, as Westwood One, New York, announced a $900 million merger with Metro Networks, the largest provider of traffic reporting and a leading supplier of local TV and radio news. Westwood One, part-owned by CBS, is the U.S.' largest radio network; Metro Networks will get $900 million in Westwood One common stock. Westwood One supplies more than 150 news, sports and entertainment programs to more than 5,000 radio stations around the world. It already owns Shadow Traffic, the second-largest traffic-reporting provider. Metro Networks operates in more than 80 markets nationally and services more than 2,000 radio and TV station affiliates in six countries. The U.S. Department of Justice will have to approve the merger. CBS, led by dealmaking President-CEO Mel Karmazin, also was on the acquisition trail on the Internet, taking a 35% share of Switchboard Inc., an online directory. Last week, CBS' Infinity Broadcasting Group acquired Outdoor Systems, the top out-of-home media company in the U.S.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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