Metro Networks is a broadcasting outsourcing company based in Houston, Texas. It was a subsidiary of Westwood One until its sale to Clear Channel Communications in 2011. The company operates a number of local and regional news and traffic operations that provide regular reports to affiliates, together with its sister company Shadow Broadcast Services. At last count, Metro Networks had approximately 2,300 radio affiliates and 170 television affiliates operating in nearly every major radio and television market of the United States, as well as 700+ websites.
In addition to offering live and recorded broadcasting reports, Metro Networks operates its own news wire service, Metro Source. Metro Source, created by software writer Ken Dichter, was started in 1997 to compete with other wire services, such as the Associated Press and Reuters. Its National News Center is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Metro Source operates 24/7 and provides hundreds of radio stations and websites with national, state, feature and local stories, including audio and photos. Over its ten year existence in the marketplace, Metro Source has been able to take away many large market radio stations from the once dominant AP wire. Despite its success, Metro Source is scarcely known outside of the continental United States.
On April 29, 2011, Westwood One sold Metro Networks to Clear Channel Communications for $119.25 million so it can concentrate on their other properties. Clear Channel also owns Metro's rival, Total Traffic Networks. Metro Networks' traffic service was eventually folded into Total Traffic Networks later that year, with Clear Channel keeping the Total Traffic name for the operation.
- "Westwood One spins its Metro Traffic business to Clear Channel for $119.25M". Radio-Info.com. April 29, 2011.
- SEC filing of sale of Metro Networks to Clear Channel posted April 29, 2011 (SEC.gov)
- "Clear Channel layoffs squeeze Metro/Total Traffic Network together". Radio-Info.com. October 26, 2011.
- Official Website of Metro Traffic (no longer owned by Metro Networks)