VMS shuts down, filing Chapter 7


Video Monitoring Services of America (VMS) shocked employees and customers Friday (8/26) by shutting down. The 30-year-old company had specialized in monitoring TV news coverage and tracking ads.

According to O’Dwyer’s Blog, which tracks the PR business, primary lender Capitol One refused to provide any more funding to the company. CEO David Stephens told staffers that the company’s lack of market share in social media monitoring was one reason for its downfall.

Even the VMS website was gone by Monday (8/29), although its final contents were cached by Google:

“The VMS Board with the input of qualified professionals have elected to close VMS. Unfortunately almost all VMS personnel have been terminated effective today. The decision was made after exhaustively evaluating many different options and with sadness for our loyal staff and customers. At some point in the very near future a Trustee will be appointed to liquidate VMS. We anticipate the trustee will make future communications with customers. VMS thanks all customers for their loyal support.”

Some 200 staffers were terminated at the VMS processing center outside Louisville, KY, as were a smaller group at headquarters in New York.

VMS officials indicated that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation filing would be made in the US Bankruptcy Court in New York, but there was no filing on record yet as of Monday.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is a crowded marketplace, so clients will have plenty of options. Still, it is surprising that one of the major players would have to shut down with a big election year just months away.