Radio Ink has learned from several sources that United States Traffic Network is winding down its radio operations. The last several months have been brutal for the traffic network. Entercom has publicly berated the company about its financial problems. And Cumulus executives jumped on the bandwagon Monday when they announced they had to write off $5 million they were expectingh from USTN. Here are all the details on USTN’s wind-down.
The last day advertisers will air during any of the traffic reports will be this Friday. USTN will provide data to stations for another two weeks, with the last day for a live radio traffic report being September 7. All employees will be released from their non-compete contracts. The sales staff has been told their last day will be August 31.
This will not affect USTN’s TV traffic division, which will continue operating.
The first we learned about the deteriorating financial situation at USTN was back in March, when Entercom CEO David Field said United States Traffic Network was unable to pay its $4 million bill due in Q4 2017. Field went public with the network’s problems, stating USTN was having “significant financial issues.”
In May, it appeared things were turning positive when Entercom announced it had signed a new deal with the traffic network that included an equity position.
Then in July, everything unraveled. USTN filed a $5 million lawsuit against Entercom, claiming it acted like a corporate bully. That was followed by a statement from Entercom that the relationship between the two companies was over.
The lawsuit claimed that USTN entered into good faith negotiations with Entercom to facilitate a sale, and Entercom “fraudulently stole data to create a competitive company.” The lawsuit also alleged that Entercom entered negotiations with USTN to purchase the company, walked away at the last minute, and informed USTN that it was going to develop a direct competitive business based upon the information gleaned during the due diligence/discovery process.