CBS chief Les Moonves says, “Advertising is coming back.”

Moonves: “Advertising is coming back.”

Echoing an optimistic message he delivered to investors two months ago, “CBS chief Les Moonves says, We have just seen pacing beginning to go up week by week, month by month, quarter by quarter.”  Moonves says the biggest gains have been in locally-driven divisions like radio and television stations.

“We’ve seen it very significantly change in the last three or four months,” he told the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch media conference yesterday.   Moonves says CBS Radio is pacing up as much as 15% from where it was earlier this year, although it continues to be down from a year ago.  “It’s heading in the right direction and we think we’ll start seeing some plus signs soon,” he added.

Asked whether he thinks the division will return to growth next year, Moonves paused, then told the crowd of analysts, “I’m optimistic that can happen.”

Even so, investors are still pushing companies to reduce costs further and Moonves believes there are still some small cuts left to be found in radio. “As the radio business gets better,” he said, “I doubt we’re going to add costs back into it.”

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