With ad sales picking up and the costs of laying off hundreds of employees no longer a factor on its current ledgers, CBS Corp. on Thursday was able to report a 53-percent improvement in earnings during the third quarter from a year ago. During an earnings call, CBS chief Les Moonves called the quarterly results "terrific," adding, "Our momentum continues to build. ... Each quarter in 2010 is delivering higher profits than the quarter before. The operating environment continues to improve, and we are reaping The Benefits of our lower cost structure, with margins that are approaching pre-recession levels." The Company reported particularly strong performances from its local TV stations, where revenue soared 25 percent, particularly as automotive sponsors returned and politicians grabbed spots for the midterm elections.