MTA: Titan’s Loss Is CBS Outdoor’s Gain

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

In New York, Titan has announced that after 13 months of intense negotiations, Titan and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority failed to reach an agreement on a restructured contract.

The MTA is therefore ending its transit advertising contract with Titan and beginning a new one with CBS Outdoor, effective immediately.

During the 2009 advertising recession, Titan had engaged in contract renegotiations with each of its 44 Transit Authority partners. Virtually all had agreed to new terms, and the MTA contract was the only major one outstanding.

Throughout the discussions, Titan management says that it had negotiated aggressively and in good faith and felt it would resolve the business issues with the MTA. The relationship between the companies had been a strong one, and, prior to 2009, Titan says that it had exceeded financial expectations and over-performed. The same would be true for its other Transit partners.

“While this is disappointing news, Titan continues to be an extremely strong company with an experienced management team, deep relationships with transit authorities across the country and a proven commitment to our advertising partners,” says Bill Apfelbaum, Titan’s chairman. “With over 400 employees and $175 million of annual billings, Titan remains one of the most powerful forces in the Out-of- Home industry.”

Apfelbaum says that Titan will still dominate the Transit Advertising industry in North America, with contracts in most of the top cities in the U.S. Titan also retains other strong assets in New York, including more than 2,000 Telephone Kiosk faces, Bulletins and Street Light Banners.”

And, in 2009, Titan won new contracts in San Francisco; Oakland; Long Beach, California; Chicago; and Seattle.

An obviously disappointed Titan believes that its latest offer to the MTA was believed to be worth more revenue to the Transit Authority than that from the new vendor.

However, Donald Allman, Titan’s president and CEO, says, “Entering 2010 our company is in a strong financial position and enjoys continued support from our private equity partner Welsh Carson, and bank group led by General Electric.

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