Interep gone for good, most move to Katz

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Posted by on November 26, 2008 at 09:39:58:

In Reply to: Major radio advertising/marketing firm goes bankrupt posted by on October 24, 2008 at 15:21:59:

Interep Shuts Its Doors

Originally Posted On Nov 25, 2008 5:58 PM ET

By Mike Stern

Sources tell R&R that as of 5 p.m. ET Tuesday (Nov. 25), Interep has shut down. Following a meeting earlier in the day with U.S. bankruptcy judge Robert Drain, it turns out the expected "other offers" for the company never materialized and the judge awarded the assets to Katz Media for $3.64 million. Katz then announced it will begin representation of CBS Radio and Entercom through a new division under its banner, leaving other Interep clients without national representation.

The CBS/Entercom sales organization will be based in New York and operate out of 12 offices around the country. Former president of CBS sales Jana Cosgrove, who joined Interep in 1993, will run the division and report to Mark Gray, president of Katz Radio Group.

"We're delighted to represent CBS Radio and Entercom, two of the country's most well-respected broadcasters," said Katz Media Group CEO Stu Olds. "Radio is undergoing transformational changes with aggressive expansions into online, on-demand, mobile text, real-time data and digital broadcasts, resulting in a significant expansion of the medium's audience and more engaged listeners. We're thrilled to create new partnerships with broadcasters on the leading edge of these advancements, and we look forward to building long-term relationships that will create exceptional value."

Entercom president and CEO David Field said, "No other medium offers a greater value proposition or is better positioned for success in the current economic climate than radio. And with the continued development of innovative content, new digital technologies and integrated marketing capabilities, radio is fundamentally reinventing itself for tomorrow. We are excited to be part of this evolution."

The motion presented to judge Drain came from Kenneth Silverman, who was appointed trustee of Interep on Oct. 24 when the operation filed to change its bankruptcy status to Chapter 7 from Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is an opportunity for a struggling company to reorganize itself and possibly get reinvigorated. Chapter 7 is a death-blow, the dissolving of a business.

Silverman is still talking to parties interested in acquiring other parts of the Interep empire, and negotiations for Azteca and HIT, the two Interep-owned Hispanic television sales operations; Morris & Abraham, the training division; and Interep Interactive-Windstar divisions are ongoing. An Interep source tells R&R that decisions on the separate deals -- not affiliated with the Katz contract -- are expected by week's end.

There were 340 people working for Interep, with many of them expected to be picked up by Katz. Still, the absence of Interep, which billed itself as "the largest independent national radio representative firm in the United States," is seen as a huge hole in the radio industry's commerce and ability to place and deliver advertising across the nation.

Additional reporting by Jeffrey Yorke

(Radio & Records)

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