Bala Cynwyd-based Entercom and United States Traffic in messy legal snarl

Entercom has been fiddling with the formats of the two other music stations since acquiring them as part of the CBS Radio deal a year ago. ( file photo)

First, Malvern’s United States Traffic Network (USTN) took legal action by filing a lawsuit, then Entercom  Communications simply said good riddance to a former partner. Seeking punitive damages in excess of $5 million, USTN sued the  nation’s No. 2 radio company based in Bala Cynwyd and controlled by the Field family, for fraud in state and federal courts in Texas this week.

The breakup spells more trouble for Entercom with its recently acquired CBS Radio empire that has been nothing but surprises since the deal closed in late 2017. Entercom stock is down more than 50 percent since it announced the CBS Radio merger in early 2017 as radio advertising has declined and Entercom’s debt has soared, writes Bob Fernandez in the Philadelphia Daily News.

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Entercom, which owns and operates former CBS Radios stations in the Philadelphia area, including KYW, issued a public statement after the lawsuit was filed that it was happy the partnership has come to an end.

“We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory,” David Field, president and CEO at Entercom Communications, said in a statement. “With leading news brands like 1010 WINS in New York, KNX in Los Angeles, and WBBM in Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory, and we are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.”

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