Westwood One Inc. shares have risen more than 12% amid speculation that Westinghouse Electric Corp. is interested in buying the 75% of the radio programmer it doesn't already own.
Westwood One shares rose to a record high of $19.75 last week and closed Monday at $19, down 37.5 cents on Nasdaq.
The combination would help Westinghouse boost radio profit by increasing sales of programming to affiliated stations, some analysts said. Mel Karmazin, who heads CBS' radio business, also serves as chief executive of Culver City-based Westwood One.
"With the new Westinghouse radio group being heads-and-shoulders above the competition, and with significant national exposure, Westinghouse could probably help enhance Westwood One's growth and performance," said Ed Hatch, an analyst at UBS Securities.
Westwood One, whose programs feature radio personalities Don Imus, G. Gordon Liddy and Jim Bohannon, is valued at about $750 million to $800 million, Hatch said.
Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse bought Infinity on Dec. 31 for about $4 billion in stock and $1 billion of assumed debt, making it the dominant radio chain in the country with about $1 billion in annual revenue.
Executives of Westwood, which is the second-largest radio programmer behind ABC, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.