Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bumpy road ahead for Westwood One and Metro Networks

The struggling parent company of the largest traffic gathering service in the country - Westwood One Inc. –
received really bad news earlier today. The New York Stock Exchange delisted Westwood One’s stock which closed its last business day of trading on Wall Street at 13 cents a share. It’s still unclear how today’s action will impact Westwood One’s subsidiary Metro Networks that provides traffic reports in metropolitan areas around the nation. The Metro’s local operations for the Greater Boston area are located at 7 Bullfinch Place in downtown Boston.

As reported here previously (BRW 9/15), Metro Networks made substantial cuts in its local personnel and operations(customizing one single report for market’s smaller stations) as part of nationwide restructuring. At the time, the company had announced that its new digital technology would allow it to consolidate resources from 60 operations centers into 13 regional hubs, improve service to small, medium and large markets, and alleviate demands on aerial reporting units. Now, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen to Westwood One's Metro Networks operations here and elsewhere.

Locally, one of Metro’s biggest customers is WBZ AM 1030 which provides its “Traffic on the 3’s” during its all-news format block. Talker WRKO AM 680 uses Metro for news updates and traffic and sister station sports talker WEEI AM 850 also uses the service for its sports flash updates on weekends.

Metro Networks is the largest traffic gathering and reporting operation in the world.

Westwood One provides more than 150 news, sports, music, talk and entertainment programs, features and live events to numerous media partners. Westwood One distributes NFL games including the Super Bowl.

BRW Notebook :

River gets new GM :
Haverhill’s WXRV 92.5FM/The River appointed 21-year broadcast veteran Donald St. Sauveur as its new General Manager. His previous stops included Entercom Boston, CBS Radio Boston, American Radio Systems and Interep. Sauveur was one of a dozen staffers let go by Entercom due to budget cuts last month(BRW 10/16). He served as WRKO AM 680's national sales manager at the time of his exit.

Walk on! : WAAF 107.3FM morning personalities Lyndon Byers and Spaz are hitting the road tomorrow morning for the 16th annual
"Walk for Change" More than to raise the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Worcester County Food Bank and the New Hampshire Food Bank. LB and Spaz will finish the 3-day trek at WAAF's studios in Brighton on Friday. Meanwhile, Greg Hill will be in the studio taking listeners' requests and playing anything that goes(for a donation, of course).

1 comment:

Chris said...

While radio traffic reports are marginally useful, the REALLY useless people are the ones on the TV side...people like Rich Kirkland on WBZ and that lame Doug 'helicopter boy' over on WFXT. These people are utterly useless and really ought to be looking for a new career. If your whole career is spent looking out of helicopter windows and telling people what you see, then you're not really a productive member of society. Kirkland just happens to do the same thing, but from the ground instead of the air and with a shirt and tie instead of jeans and goofy sweaters.