The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has canceled its contract with Titan Outdoor, which sold advertising on the metro’s buses and Metro North. The contract has been awarded to CBS Outdoor, which lost the contract to Titan two years ago.
Titan was surprised by the MTA’s action. “We didn’t expect this result,” said Bill Apfelbaum, chairman of Titan Outdoor, which held a conference call Wednesday (Feb. 24) soon after learning of the MTA’s decision.
For the past 13 months, Titan has been negotiating with the MTA to alter the minimum guarantee called for in the MTA contract. Blaming the recession, Titan was unable to pay the guaranteed minimum called for in the contract, though it continued to pay the 72.5 percent revenue share.
“We went to the MTA when revenue started to fall,” Apfelbaum said. Titan believed they were still in negotiations with the MTA when the news came Wednesday that the MTA awarded the contract to CBS Outdoor.
“When we took over the contract from CBS, we grew the business 23 percent. In the second year, we were tracking up 10 [percent] to 11 percent when things began to unravel in the ad business,” said Don Allman, president and CEO of Titan.
Titan said its business was down in the “negative high teens” last year. It is currently in negotiations with other transit partners.
Titan still has a presence in New York, selling street banners and ads on telephone kiosks. The company said it intends to bid for the MTA contract when it’s up in five years.