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'Clunkers' program boosts advertising

LOS ANGELES — CBS Corp. said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell sharply because of softness in the advertising market, but said the government's "cash-for-clunkers" program helped jump-start ad buying from auto dealers.

The New York-based broadcasting company run by Sumner Redstone offered an upbeat outlook for sales in the third quarter that gave hope that a long-awaited recovery in the advertising market has finally arrived. Its full-year outlook was unchanged.

" 'Cash for clunkers' was a real shot in the arm for national as well as local," said CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves. TV and radio stations were seeing ad sales bookings that were 11 percent to 16 percent higher in the second quarter than the first, the company said. In the third quarter, they improved another 4 percent to 8 percent from the second quarter.