CBS mulls sale of Midtown broadcast center

Developers eyeing block-long site at 524 West 57th Street

524 West 57th Street in Manhattan and CBS Entertainment CEO George Cheeks
524 West 57th Street in Manhattan and CBS Entertainment CEO George Cheeks (Google Maps, Getty)

This just in: CBS is starting to run out of property in Manhattan.

Paramount Global, the parent company of the broadcaster, is considering a sale of its broadcast center at 524 West 57th Street, the New York Post reported. CBS Entertainment CEO George Cheeks confirmed the possibility in an internal memo, but said the idea was only in the “early stages.”

The company hired a real estate consultant to guide it through the sale exploration. A person told the outlet at least three developers and landlords have expressed preliminary interest in acquiring the property.

The site of the broadcast center was once a dairy depot for Sheffield Farms. CBS purchased the site seven decades ago and transformed it into a hub for its television and radio studios, particularly its news channels.

Studios housed in the production center include those for “60 Minutes,” “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “CBS Morning News.” CBS also occupies 281,000 square feet across the street at SL Green’s 555 West 57th Street, where it signed a five-year renewal in January.

The broadcast center is in Midtown West, between Tenth and Eleventh avenues. 

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The broadcaster has grown its presence on the block, including a February 2021 purchase of a site at 500 West 57th Street from Extell Development for $26.75 million

The parent company of CBS has gone through numerous changes in recent years. When a merger between Viacom and CBS closed in 2019, the new conglomeration launched a review of “non-core assets,” seeking to cut costs by $500 million.

In August 2021, the media giant then known as ViacomCBS sold Black Rock, its 38-story office tower at 51 West 52nd Street, to Harbor Group International for $760 million. The sale ended more than five decades of ownership for the media company, which was originally hoping to sell for more than $1 billion.

If CBS sells its broadcast center, the Ed Sullivan Theater would be the last production facility it owns in Manhattan.

Holden Walter-Warner

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