NPR, WGBH Buy Rep Firm
September 11, 2007 at 1:56 PM (PT)
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO and noncommercial WGBH-TV-F-WGBX-TV/BOSTON have partnered to buy noncommercial TV and radio station advertising rep firm NATIONAL PUBLIC BROADCASTING from WILLIAMS COMMUNICATIONS for an undisclosed price. NPB will be combined with NPR Corporate Sponsorship in a new non-profit company. ROBERT WILLIAMS will remain CEO of the firm, with NPR CEO KEN STEIN named Chairman and WGBH COO/President-elect JONATHAN ABBOTT serving on the board of the new entity. The deal is expected to close by the end of OCTOBER and will represent 60 TV stations, 120 radio stations, sponsorship of several NPR shows and TV's "The News Hour With JIM LEHRER," and several websites, including PBS.ORG.
WILLIAMS said, "Every company founder wants to see his company succeed longterm, and this is the best outcome we could have imagined. We are delighted that these two powerful institutions have chosen to make NPB a central strategic asset for an expansion of the sponsorship efforts of the public broadcasting community. What we at NPB have worked to accomplish in the last decade will now serve as the foundation for this new organization and its wide-ranging plans."
"This new organization will enable us to better communicate the value, and values, of public broadcasting to the corporate community," added STERN. "Public radio and television hold a critical role in American life, and our rapidly-growing audiences trust and support the companies that support our public service mission. With the rapid growth of audience throughout public broadcasting and the expansion of media platforms we serve, this new organization will provide greater resources to fully, actively represent our shared assets."
ABBOTT said, "As the multimedia landscape evolves, WGBH sees this new company as a critical resource to helping public media grow at both the local and national levels. WGBH has been involved with NPB since its inception, and believes in the potential of the NPB team to continue to be essential to public broadcasting."