Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Broadcast Engineering Magazine Shuts Down

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 25 2013

Since I joined the TV business more than 20 years ago, Broadcast Engineering magazine has been the authoritative destination for technical information, and one of the most important and trusted sources of industry news and education.

So like many in the television industry, I was shocked and saddened to learn that BE’s owner, Penton Media, has taken the decision to close down Broadcast Engineering.

There’s no doubt that publishing is a tough business, and Penton would not have made this decision without a clear business rationale.  The company has a broad portfolio of publications, most notably in agriculture and aerospace. BE is the company’s only property in the media business, and presumably it does not fit with the company’s strategy for the future.

On their website, Penton says this about themselves:

At Penton, we are all about providing relevant information and connections. Our solutions are tailored to the needs of our audience, which is why it takes so many forms – digital, print, live events. While longevity doesn’t necessarily correlate to success, the dozens of Penton brands in 17 distinct markets do have long embedded traditions of editors, sales, and service personnel who really live their markets. And nurturing such talent has been a hallmark of Penton for decades.

 

This sentiment pretty much sums up the BE team, who have been part of the collective professional lives of broadcast industry professionals for as long as any of us can remember. This makes the news that BE will no longer be around like hearing of the loss of an old friend, and I can’t help but feel that the broadcast industry is a little worse off today than it was just a week ago.

So I’d like to thank the team at BE for the fantastic product you produced for so many years, and for being such an important part of the careers of so many thousands of people all over the world.

Goodbye old friend.  You will be missed.

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Related Content:

Broadcast Engineering magazine

About Penton Media

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009-2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Analyst Says Apple TV Launch “Imminent,” Could Benefit Arris

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 15 2012

According to an article in Investor’s Business Daily, Jefferies & Co. analyst James Kisner said in a report that his industry contacts suggest that “at least one major North American cable system operator is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network.”

“We believe this potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV, a positive development for Arris, (which) is directly exposed to data traffic growth from incremental IP video streams on cable networks,” said Kisner, who also speculates that Arris stands to benefit through Comcast, one of its customers.

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Related Content:

IBD Article: Apple TV Upgrade On The Way, Could Boost Arris, Report Says

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Sales & Marketing Power Shift at “Profitable, Independent” Grass Valley

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 20 2012

Grass Valley announced a reorganization of its sales and marketing leadership today, appointing three regional presidents and a chief marketing officer.

The company also slipped into the announcement the statement that it “is now a profitable independent company,” but did not provide any further details or financial metrics.

Grass Valley, which was acquired from Technicolor by private equity firm Francisco Partners in January 2011, says it has now completed the first phase of its corporate transformation by unifying its product line, modernizing its service offering, and improving supply chain management. The company says that the executive re-alignment signifies the next phase of its strategic plan, and will focus the company on better serving its customer base.

 

The following appointments were announced today.

 

  • Mike Oldham, who was the CEO of automation and channel-in-a-box provider OmniBus prior to its sale to Miranda in September 2010, has joined Grass Valley as region president, Americas

 

  • Alan Wright has been promoted to region president, EMEA

 

  • Andrew Sedek has been promoted to region president Asia Pacific

 

 

All four will report to Grass Valley president and CEO Alain Andreoli.

Grass Valley also said that longtime executive Jeff Rosica, the current EVP and chief sales & marketing officer, will leave the company near the end of the year.  Rosica, who ran Grass Valley when it was owned by Technicolor and oversaw the sale of Grass Valley to Francisco Partners, will serve as a strategic advisor to Andreoli until late November.

“Having re-aligned our product groups and streamlined our operations it’s now all about getting closer to our customers, becoming their trusted advisors and delighting them with the Grass Valley experience,” said Andreoli. “We are creating more strength in our regions and will now have three regional presidents reporting directly to me, as well as a newly created chief marketing officer role, bringing an even stronger voice of the customer to the executive team. Grass Valley is a strong global brand, with a balanced worldwide presence. We understand that customers in each region have unique needs and we want them to have a strong presence at the executive table.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Grass Valley Re-Organizes its Sales and Marketing Organization

Press Release: Grass Valley Names Graham Sharp to Guide Corporate Development

Grass Valley Names New CEO, Management Team

Technicolor Completes Sale of Grass Valley

More Broadcast M&A – Miranda Buys OmniBus for C$48.7m

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© Devoncroft Partners.  All Rights Reserved.

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Pilat Media and Fox Television Stations Settle Legal Dispute

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 14 2011

Pilat Media announced that it has reached a confidential agreement to end its legal dispute with Fox television stations (FTS).

Fox sued Pilat in June 2011 claiming damages of an unspecified amount in connection with alleged breaches of contract by Pilat Media.

In July 2011, Pilat said it had brought a removal action and counterclaim for breach of contract against FTS in the U.S. Federal Court in New York seeking an injunction and damages to be determined by that Court.

Pilat and Fox have now settled this dispute.  Here’s the press release:

Further to the update issued on 20 September 2011, Pilat Media Global plc (AIM:PGB), the leading supplier of business management software to the media industry, is pleased to announce the signing of a confidential settlement agreement with Fox Television Networks, Inc. (“FTS”).

In this confidential agreement FTS and Pilat confirm that they have resolved and settled their differences amicably and have agreed to withdraw all allegations and claims. Pursuant to the settlement, Pilat Media shall be entitled to payments from FTS and from the Company’s insurers in the total amount of US$850,000 (approximately £542,000). This amount will be credited against the impairment of receivables being £2,822,340 as at 30 June 2011.

The Board is pleased with this outcome which brings to an end the dispute with FTS.  As highlighted previously, Pilat Media enjoys excellent business relationships with its sixty-strong global client base and this is the only lawsuit with any client that has arisen in the ten year history of the Company.

 

 

Related Content:

Press Release: Settlement Agreement with Fox Television Stations, Inc

Pilat Media Sued by Fox Television Stations, Files Counter Claim for Breach of Contract

Press Release: Pilat Media Couter Claim against Fox Television Stations

Press Release: Pilat Media Informed by Fox Television Stations of Breach of Contract Suit

Pilat Media Posts Small Loss for First Quarter of 2011

Press Release: Pilat Media Announces Results for the 12 Months Ended December 31 2010

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Harris Corporation Names New President and CEO

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 10 2011

Harris Corporation has appointed William Brown president and chief executive officer effective November 1, 2011. Brown succeeds current CEO Howard Lance, who announced in May 2011 his intention to retire when a successor was named. Lance will continue to serve as chairman, president and CEO through October 31, 2011, and will then serve as non-executive chairman of the Board until December 31, 2011.

Brown joins Harris from United Technologies Corporation where he held several senior leadership roles since he joined the company in 1997. During the past six months, as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development, he has been responsible for the company’s global strategic planning and M&A activity.

“I am excited to join Harris at such an important time in the company’s history,” said Brown. “During the past decade Harris has transitioned into a diversified provider of ultra-reliable communications and information technologies to government agencies and commercial markets worldwide. With its strong financial position, robust pipeline of potential opportunities and well-defined areas for new market entry, the company is ideally positioned for further growth. I look forward to working with the company’s talented management team to build on the success it has achieved.”

Brown received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Villanova University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.

 

Pilat Media Sued by Fox Television Stations, Files Counter Claim for Breach of Contract

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 13 2011

Pilat Media said that it was informed last month by Fox Television Stations Inc (“FTS”) that FTS wishes to discontinue use of Pilat Media’s IBMS system from 30 September 2011.

Pilat also said at that time that FTS had issued proceedings against Pilat Media claiming damages of an unspecified amount in connection with alleged breaches of contract by Pilat Media.

At the time, Pilat said that FTS’s notification came with no prior warning, and that its board of directors regards FTS’ claims as being wholly without merit.

Today, Pilat announced that in response to the legal actions taken last month by FTS, it has as brought a removal action and counterclaim for breach of contract against FTS in the U.S. Federal Court in New York seeking an injunction and damages to be determined by that Court.

Pilat Media said that for the year ended 31 December 2010 Fox TV Stations represented approximately 3%, or just over $1m, of Pilat Media’s total revenue of $35m (£21.9m).  Pilat also said that FTS-related balances for accrued income (revenues recognized but not yet paid) on Pilat Media’s balance sheet amount to approximately US$4.6 million.

Pilat, which has more than 60 customers worldwide, said it has never before experienced a purported termination of an IBMS implementation project.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Pilat Media Couter Claim against Fox Television Stations

Press Release: Pilat Media Informed by Fox Television Stations of Breach of Contract Suit

Pilat Media Posts Small Loss for First Quarter of 2011

Press Release: Pilat Media Announces Results for the 12 Months Ended December 31 2010

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RealD President Bows Out, Cashes In

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 01 2011

RealD, a global licensor of 3D technologies announced that company co-founder Joshua Greer will no longer serve as President of the Company effective July 15, 2011.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Greer, who made tens of millions of dollars through RealD’s IPO and subsequent share sales, has entered into a consulting agreement with RealD that will pay him $275,000 to act as a strategic and technology advisor to the company.  He will also remain on the company’s board of directors.

 

Greer will also receive the following separation benefits:

 

  • cash severance of $450,000 (Greer’s annual base salary according to RealD’s S1 filing)

 

  • reimbursement from the Company for insurance coverage under COBRA for 18 months

 

  • a pro-rated cash Performance Bonus for fiscal year 2012 (to be paid no later than June 15, 2012), in an amount equal to 30% of 80% of Mr. Greer’s salary, computed assuming that Mr. Greer had remained as President of the Company through the end of fiscal year 2012; and

 

  • acceleration of a time-based vesting stock option for 105,000 shares granted to Mr. Greer on July 15, 2010

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Related Content:

Press Release: RealD Co-Founder Joshua Greer to Transition into Advisory Role and Remain on Board of Directors

RealD SEC filing detailing separation agreement between RealD and Joshua Greer

RealD Files Prospectus for $200m Secondary Stock Offering. All Proceeds Destined for Current Shareholders Rather than the Company Itself

Wall Street Journal Article: RealD Insiders Capitalize on IPO

RealD S1 (filing with SEC)

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Miranda announces Q2 results

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 04 2009

Miranda posted their Q2 results today.  They had a 68% drop in quarterly profit and missed expectations of the analysts. 

Here’s the press release http://bit.ly/15IHg7.

Here’s an article from the Reuters news service about the results: http://bit.ly/Wb7RO.

To hear a replay of the earnings conference call dial +1-877-289-8525 and use access code 21310637#

HDTV… just a “pause” on the path to transition to IT-based broadcasting?

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 13 2009

I had an interesting conversation recently with a broadcast technology vendor about how the transition to HDTV has impacted the move to IT-based broadcasting.

Their proposition was this:

Before the move to HDTV really took off, the broadcast industry was moving towards IT / file-based workflows.  Then a variety of  external structural forces (e.g. government intervention, analog switch-off etc) caused it to change course and focus on the transition to HD.

This caused the industry’s focus shifted away from IT / software-based systems and back towards hardware, which was better able to handle the increased data rates of HDTV.   This was good news for traditional hardware vendors, many of whom saw big spikes in their businesses, and some of whom managed to go public on the back of this trend.

Fast forward to today.  The transition to HD is well underway, and completed in many areas.  Broadcasters who have made the move to HD are now are looking for ways to increase their efficiencies, and do more with less.   At the same time, IT-based systems have made tremendous strides, and have in many cases caught up with hardware systems. 

So, this vendor concluded, we’re at a major industry inflection point, and the next transition in the broadcast industry will be driven by software, not hardware.

If this vendor is right, (and they very well may be), it’s going to be an interesting time for the hardware-oriented vendors who don’t have fully-fledged IT-based solutions that deliver what today’s customers want — the ability to do more with less, the promise of greater efficiencies, and above all a way to increase revenues.  It’s doubtful that “traditional” vendors will go away, but it’s likely that we will see new leaders emerge, along with an increase in M&A activity.

IABM Partnership Announcement

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 19 2009

While I was finalizing the first version of the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), I showed it to a number of people to get their feedback.  One of the first was Roger Crumpton, who heads up the IABM and was the driving force behind the excellent IABM Global Market Study, which is published in conjunction with Screen Digest.

I initially approached Roger to get his view on pricing the BBS.  However, when I took him through the study he got excited about its content and suggested that we work together.    Roger told me that the BBS fills a need in the market and provides IABM member companies with unique insight that was previously unavailable.

We decided to create a partnership  — after the IABM conducted due dilligence on the study, its methodology and its findings — whereby the IABM will help to promote the study in exchange for me offering their member companies a 15% discount.  We also agreed to “synchronize” the segmentation of my future reports with the segmentation in the IABM / Screen Digest report.

I am excited about this partnership as I think it can bring benefits to both Devoncroft and the IABM.

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