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Westwood One Moves Ahead With Cost-Cutting

Company is also talking to its lenders about debt relief and promoting itself as a good long-term investment.

As it looks for ways to refinance its loans and cut back on its costs, Westwood One said this week it had executed the most recent phase of its “re-engineering” program of its traffic division.

It had announced last month, as reported here, that it would restructure the traffic operations of its subsidiary, Metro Networks; the plan consolidates 60 operations centers into 13 regional hubs over coming months and means a staff reduction of a net 15 percent during the fourth quarter.

“This re-engineering allows Westwood One to provide a superior traffic product to the same number of markets more efficiently, in part by leveraging new digital technologies to provide improved traffic reports with enhanced speed and flow information,” it stated, reiterating that it expects to save $25 million to $30 million over the coming year or so.

Company managers took to the road recently to generate enthusiasm among investors. “As part of the roadshow, management expressed its view that recent revenue initiatives are beginning to gain traction and should have a positive impact on 2009 results as significantly improved clearance levels by CBS Radio stations are credited in ratings books.”

On Oct. 2 the company was told by the New York Stock Exchange that it had fallen below the NYSE’s continued listing standard; this was separate from news in September that it had failed to maintain a $1 minimum share price, and the company needs to show the NYSE a plan to counter these developments.

You can view the roadshow presentation here.

The company is talking to its lending banks and noteholders regarding ongoing debt. Seeking to show confidence in the company, it also announced this week that the CEO, CFO and COO had purchased 1.87 million shares of stock.