Westwood One Details Staff Cutbacks, Restructuring
September 12, 2008 at 9:26 AM (PT)
Rumors become reality at WESTWOOD ONE, as the company makes major staff cutbacks as part of what it called a restructuring of the traffic operations of METRO NETWORKS.
The company is cutting METRO's staff by 15% in fourth quarter and consolidating operations into 13 regional hubs using digital "cellular probe technology" by the end of second quarter 2009. Local traffic updates will continue to be delivered to all of its current markets from the 13 hubs. The company will take a restructuring charge of $20-$24 million for third quarter, and expects to achieve cost savings of $25-$30 million from the cutbacks and hub consolidation.
Though we regret the need to reduce staff, these initiatives will help ensure that Westwood One retains its industry leadership position.
"The enhanced digital platform, overall changes in communications technology, and scale benefits of larger, 24/7 hub centers better position WESTWOOD ONE as the go-to source in the traffic business. As a result, the business is better aligned to create cost efficiencies that improve the Company’s overall profitability," WW1 Pres./CEO TOM BEUSSE stated in a press release. "We can now provide to our customers a superior offering of customized, real-time, 24-hour localized traffic reports and best choice route alternatives for over 350,000 miles of roadway."
"Though we regret the need to reduce staff," added BEUSSE, "these initiatives will help ensure that WESTWOOD ONE retains its industry leadership position. In order to do so, we must continue to evolve and differentiate our products to best serve the end user. We remain committed to our strategy of becoming a leading, integrated cross-platform company, delivering premium content and services and will continue to review every aspect of our business for opportunities that improve WESTWOOD ONE's operations."