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Pennzoil Inks Ad Deal With CBS

Pennzoil signed a deal with CBS to become the first advertiser to buy sponsorships covering five CBS units all at once: the television network, its TNN cable station, its radio stations, its television stations and its TDI outdoor-advertising unit.

The one-year, multi-million dollar partnership begins in the first quarter of 1999.

"Pennzoil products will be marketed across the entire spectrum of CBS media," said Mel Karmazin, president and chief operating officer of CBS. (CBS is a 50 percent owner of CBS MarketWatch.com.)

CBS shares rose Monday amid the pact with Pennzoil and an upgrade by Merrill Lynch to "buy" from "long-term buy". The stock gained 3/8 to 34 5/16 after Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen set a 12-month target price at 42.

She cited the end of the GM strike as boding well for the network's advertising revenue and she pointed out the company's annual free cash flow growth is more than 30 percent. Reif Cohen also said she expects the company will announce share buy-backs and cost restructuring, along with acquisitions that will add to earnings.

In other media news:

  • NBC's online media unit bulked up its Internet portal scheme with an investment in video-on-demand and shopping service Intertainer Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif. NBC, a unit of General Electric, will acquire a 6 percent stake of the privately-held company with an option to increase its position. NBC is the first broadcast network to sign up for Intertainer after film studios such as Time Warner, Sony and Disney unit Buena Vista. Intertainer said in a statement that it hopes to be the first on-demand service to offer network TV programming.