Bad Day in J-town for 214 VMS Staffers

Imagine coming to work and learning that your New York-based parent company had decided to shut down, putting you and more than 200 co-workers out of work — immediately.

That’s what happened Friday at Video Monitoring Services of America offices in Jeffersontown. The company notified managers Thursday night and levied the bad news the next day. Here’s what the company did: “…provides news media monitoring, advertising monitoring and analysis, and integrated media solutions. The company offers media monitoring services and Web-based media management solutions for news coverage in media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.”

Al Mayo, sales manager for a competing company, Media Library, said the company was troubled. “They were top heavy in management and were very slow to keep up with technology. Their solution was to buy companies with the technology they needed already in place, but they also assumed all the debt and liabilities. I’ve been in touch with folks who were there Friday and they were stunned. They got the news during a web conference at noon. The final decisions were apparently made the night before on a conference call to all managers and dept heads. 214 people out of work here in Louisville. This was their national production hub. Millions in equipment is sitting out there wasting away. Not to mention theygot significant tax incentives when they moved here in 02.”

Mayo said his company had already picked up some VMS clients today.

That’s a tough blow in a tough economy.

VMS, a publicly-traded firm, apparently left so suddenly that no final paychecks will be issued and vendors won’t get paid. Today, the company’s website is down. Friday it had left this message there: “The VMS board, with the input of qualified professionals, have elected to close VMS. Unfortunately almost all VMS personnel have been terminated effective today.”