CBS Corp (CBS) Announces Acquisition of EcoMedia LLC

May 13, 2010 10:33 AM EDT
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) announced today that it has acquired EcoMedia, LLC, an organization that brings together public institutions and municipalities with private industry advertisers and local media to generate funding for projects to improve the environment. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation. Moonves also announced that EcoMedia's CEO and Founder, Paul Polizzotto, will serve as President of EcoMedia, and continue to lead the new division, which will retain its name.

Since 2008, CBS and EcoMedia, working as partners, have engaged in a wide variety of environmental projects in CBS's local markets. And with this acquisition, CBS now incorporates EcoMedia's innovative model and offerings into all of its operating units, including television, online, radio, publishing and outdoor.

"We want to be a catalyst for getting actual bricks-and-mortar 'greening' projects done that will improve the quality of life in the local communities we serve," said Moonves. "We have seen firsthand EcoMedia's work on the ground with environmental projects throughout the country and we're very pleased to now fully integrate EcoMedia into the fabric of CBS."

Prior to founding EcoMedia, Paul Polizzotto was recognized for his work helping municipalities to clean waterways. He based EcoMedia on an innovative new concept of sustainable media – a way to help companies achieve community outreach objectives while making a tangible difference to the environment.

"We're very pleased to join the CBS family and continue pursuing our goal to become the first and only advertising solution for sponsors who want their media spending to help measurably improve the environment," said Polizzotto. "EcoMedia's sustainable media product is a unique solution that CBS can offer clients to fund energy efficiency initiatives as part of their normal advertising buys, including retrofits and solar installations on public buildings and schools, tree plantings and watershed clean-up projects. Being part of CBS will better allow us to deliver these improvements on a much greater scale to markets across the country."

CBS and EcoMedia teamed up in 2008 to launch the CBS-EcoZone Green Schools Initiative in San Francisco, Miami and the suburban Chicago area, which raised more than $650,000 worth of products and services for green projects and technologies to give a winning school in each city a "green makeover." For its work in the city of Miami, EcoMedia received the 2009 US Council of Mayors' top honor, the Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships Award.

These are just some of the early examples of work CBS has done with EcoMedia. Each CBS business unit will now work with the new division to bring advertisers a new way to engage consumers while improving the environment. Here are some thoughts from CBS executives:

"EcoMedia's groundbreaking program will add a unique and desirable element to the sales packages we can bring to our CBS Television Stations Group clients. By including a green offering as part of the overall ad buy, advertisers will be able to address their sustainability objectives and green initiatives, and ultimately engage on a more meaningful level with their consumers. EcoMedia and CBS stations have already had great success teaming up on the CBS-EcoZone Green Schools Initiative in San Francisco, Miami and Chicago. We look forward to building on that success together in the many communities we serve." Peter Dunn, President, CBS Television Stations Group

"EcoMedia's innovative model of sustainable media adds a unique and exciting dimension to CBS Radio's sales offering. We will work closely with EcoMedia to address the specific needs of our advertisers' green initiatives and objectives and, with their guidance, we will look to create groundbreaking ways to help educate our many listeners and improve the quality of life in the communities we serve throughout the country." Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS Radio

"EcoMedia's mission is a great complement to Outdoor's ability to leverage our advertisers' commitment to 'community.' We provide tremendous presence in the marketplace, and the addition of EcoMedia's outreach into the environmental lifestyle of the community enhances the overall product that we deliver. The CBS-EcoZone Green School Initiative is a great example of our collaboration that had an additive effect on all parties involved. We are thrilled that EcoMedia has joined the CBS family and look forward to bringing more creative green offerings to our advertisers." Wally Kelly, Chairman and CEO, CBS Outdoor

"CBS Interactive looks forward to working with and leveraging EcoMedia to create new opportunities for clients to further their sustainability objectives. The partnership with EcoMedia adds an attractive new dimension for advertisers, providing them with an alternative and creative way to engage with consumers and improve the environment." Neil Ashe, President, CBS Interactive

"EcoMedia's 'EcoZone' is a terrific project with a creative approach that let us make a tangible contribution to the schools. EcoMedia spread an important environmental message and helped us develop viable commercial sponsorships." Ron Longinotti, President and General Manager of CBS's San Francisco station KPIX

"The green school initiative provided us with an opportunity to partner with the Miami school system and our local community in promoting a positive environmental message through a green project that made a lasting difference. EcoMedia was the driving force in bringing the public and private sectors together to create this change." Shaun McDonald, President and General Manager of CBS's Miami station WFOR, EcoMedia's original partner in launching the CBS-EcoZone Green Schools Initiative in Miami in 2008

EcoMedia's experience in helping companies fund green initiatives has also earned recognition from noted environmentalists:

"EcoMedia's EcoZone program has been one of the best ideas I have encountered to conserve and protect our natural resources... Cities get much needed funds; communities get cleaner water, air and green spaces; and corporations can put their resources to work for the betterment of society. Now as a CBS company, EcoMedia is partnered with a major media conglomerate to take the next logical and necessary step." Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President and Founder, Waterkeeper Alliance

"Every corporation I know is focused on adding more sustainable options to their supply chain and it's going to be very welcome news that now they can find sustainability right in their marketing and communications budgets, a place they've never looked before. As we advance toward our low carbon future, this is the perfect marriage of a top tier media giant continuing to evolve and stay more relevant than ever, and a creative game-changing company that found a better way to reach consumers and boost their lives and futures at the same time. The potential for scaling EcoMedia's programs and proven results across all the CBS channels of distribution is exhilarating news for stakeholders who all benefit – corporations, local governments, environmentalists and all the people they serve." Terry Tamminen, Special Assistant to Governor Schwarzenegger and former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)

"We value the opportunity to partner with EcoMedia and CBS to offer a unique advertising program that addresses sustainable solutions. This creative business model gives advertisers the ability to help fund renewable energy projects and energy efficiency programs while still meeting their important media goals. As North America's largest producer of wind and solar power, we applaud innovative community-focused efforts like this that help reduce carbon emissions and build a clean energy future." Nathan Hanson, Vice President Power Marketing, NextEra Energy Resources

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