Clear Channel ( CCU) pledged to return $1.6 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. The news came as the radio station owner, in the midst of spinning off its concert unit and part of its outdoor ad group, posted a middling third quarter. The San Antonio, Texas-based company said earnings fell to $206 million, or 38 cents a share, from the year-ago $261 million, or 44 cents. Revenue rose just 1% to $2.68 billion as soft automotive and retail ad sales hit results at its radio stations. Analysts polled by Thomson were expecting earnings of 38 cents per share on $2.64 billion in revenue. "We continued to make progress in each of our businesses in the third quarter. For the second consecutive quarter Clear Channel Radio experienced sequential financial improvement over the previous quarter. This performance is a direct result of our recent ratings successes combined with our progress in developing a market for shorter-length spots," said CEO Mark Mays, in a statement. "Meanwhile, we delivered double-digit revenue growth in our outdoor business, both domestically and internationally. We also grew revenues at Clear Channel Entertainment. Our results this quarter highlight that Clear Channel is executing its strategy and building a strong foundation for each of our businesses to prosper in the years to come," Mays said. Clear Channel Radio revenue declined 4% to $919.2 million, but outdoor advertising revenue rose 11% to $668 million. In April, Clear Channel said it would realign parts of its business. It plans to sell 10% of its outdoor business and spin off the whole entertainment business. The company said it continues to expect to close these transactions by year's end. The company also intends to return about $1.6 billion of capital to shareholders through "either share repurchases, a special dividend or a combination of both," it said. Shares of Clear Channel ended Monday trading up 8 cents to $31.01.