CBS looks to sell Radford lot in latest real estate divesture possibility

ViacomCBS is considering selling CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California. 

The property, often referred to as the “CBS Radford lot,” is notably home to the network’s owned stations KCBS and KCAL and its Los Angeles bureau, which are inside of a facility built roughly on the same place the “Big Brother” house once stood.

Over the years, the lot has also been home to shows including “Seinfeld,” the first run of “Will & Grace” and “Roseanne” and the revival that eventually became “The Conners.” 

It’s also currently used for the studio and production offices for “Entertainment Tonight.”

CBS Studio Center is a different facility that the former CBS Television City property that the network once owned.

Now known as simply “Television City,” that facility was sold to Hackman Capital Partners in 2018, but CBS still leases space there for shows including “The Price is Right,” “The Young and the Restless” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

CBS announced in a memo to staff that it has hired real estate firm JLL to explore a sale of the property.

In the event the lot is sold, the network still expects to retain at least some operations there via a leaseback arrangements. 

This news comes the same week CBS announced it has sold its longtime headquarters, dubbed Black Rock, in New York. 

According to reports, the network will likely vacate the spaces it uses in that building in favor of using the Viacom building in Times Square.

As for the Los Angeles property, the sale is not surprising given the recombined ViacomCBS company’s flurry of divestments in real estate.

In addition, after Viacom and CBS merged for the second time, the recombined company stands to be able to eliminate duplicative operations.

The company is also able to gain large influxes of cash by selling its real estate, which some analysts have noted may be spent on big investments in content, including originals for the new streamer Paramount+.

While the network will still have rental expenses, these payments are made in installments and typically aren’t counted as debt.

Should a sale go through, ViacomCBS still owns the historic Paramount lot.