WTOP Plans To Take Traffic, Sports In-House
September 2, 2010 at 3:30 PM (PT)
A memo from Sr. RVP/Market Manager JOEL OXLEY to staff at BONNEVILLE News WTOP/WASHINGTON said that the station has begun "the process of taking in-house two of our most important assets; our traffic and sports." The memo said that the station has informed METRO NETWORKS that it does not intend to renew its contract with the traffic service after its FEBRUARY 2011 expiration, but that it expects METRO to make a counteroffer.
The station will staff its own 24-hour traffic center, with additional funding for personnel and resources, adding exclusivity and control for the station and keeping the inventory of :10 spots in-house and fewer in number.
The move was first reported by DCRTV.COM and independently confirmed by ALL ACCESS.
Metro Traffc Responds
In response, WESTWOOD ONE Chief Marketing Officer CHRIS MILLER offered the following statement:
"METRO TRAFFIC has had a long, good relationship with WTOP in WASHINGTON, D.C., and we will continue working with them until their contract is complete in FEBRUARY, 2011. LISA BADEN, WASHINGTON’s popular traffic reporter, is a METRO TRAFFIC employee and we will be bringing her outstanding talent to another affiliate station in the market very soon. We fully intend to re-assign our team of talented traffic and sports reporters to continue their outstanding work with our affiliate partners.
METRO TRAFFIC has expanded its affiliate base in 2010, adding new affiliates in BALTIMORE, PHILADELPHIA and DALLAS to the 2,200 radio stations and 165 TV stations we currently serve. We are rolling out our new Sigalert traffic product to affiliates now, adding it to our Air Sage speed and flow technology and TrafficLand live video cameras, as well as coverage from our reporters, to provide the most accurate, comprehensive coverage in the market.
We are committed to being a 24/7 operations to service all our affiliates, and look forward to expanding further in the months ahead."