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Infinity erases Mel’s memory

Newly renamed CBS Radio has 179 stations

CBS plans to rename massive radio biz Infinity Broadcasting as CBS Radio ahead of CBS Corp.’s split from parent Viacom.

Move erases one of the last overt traces of former Viacom chief operating officer Mel Karmazin, who founded Infinity, merged it with CBS, then merged CBS with Viacom about six years ago. He ankled in 2004 and now heads Sirius Satellite Radio.

CBS Radio has 179 stations, most in top 50 markets. It’s the nation’s biggest group in terms of revenue and home to 29 of the country’s leading sports franchises.

“This is a proud moment for all of us who love the CBS name and who know the storied history of CBS Radio,” said Leslie Moonves, CEO of the new CBS Corp.

The rebranded group will feature as part of its slogan “Broadcast … HD … Streaming … On-Demand,” which its stations are pursuing, company said.

Joel Hollander will continue as chairman-CEO.

The original CBS Radio was founded in 1928, when William Paley purchased a company comprising 16 independent radio stations that he turned into one of the first radio networks. CBS Radio still owns many of those same stations.

Alongside radio, the new CBS Corp. will house the CBS and UPN television networks, Showtime, the CBS TV stations group, Paramount Television, King World, CBS Outdoor, Simon & Schuster, Paramount Parks, CBS Digital Media Group, college athletics CSTV Networks and CBS Consumer Products.

CBS Corp. will split officially from “new” Viacom when their shares start to trade independently on the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 3.