NEW YORK — Westwood One Inc., the nation's largest distributor of radio programming, is buying leading traffic news provider Metro Networks Inc. for $900 million in stock.
The purchase announced Tuesday would add to Westwood One's large portfolio of entertainment, news, sports and talk show programming, which it sends to about 5,000 radio stations worldwide.
Westwood One also provided traffic reports through its Shadow Traffic operation, but only in a handful of radio markets. Metro Networks is the leader in the field, providing radio traffic reports in more than 80 markets across the nation.
Westwood One is based in Culver City but is operated by Infinity Broadcasting, the radio subsidiary of CBS Corp. Infinity also owns a minority stake in Westwood One.
Metro Networks is based in Houston; its chairman, David Saperstein, owns about half of the company. Saperstein would get a seat on the board of Westwood One after the deal closes.