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CBS’ Top Ratings Aren’t Enough to Lift Struggling Stock Price

Ratings for many of CBS' highest-profile shows are solid if not spectacular. NCIS is generating typically high numbers, National Football League audiences are soaring and viewership of the new Late Show with Stephen Colbert is proving that David Letterman was right to retire. Even the CBS Evening News is doing well, alone among network newscasts for adding viewers this year.

Yet, despite its programming success and increased international distribution, CBS has been buffeted by many of the same overarching factors pulling at all TV operators. Marketers are moving more of their money to digital platforms as viewing increasingly shifts to mobile devices. That CBS skews toward older viewers, a point CEO Leslie Moonves readily admits, doesn't help in attracting advertising, which is declining. CBS' revenue and profits are...