After 80-plus years in the rep business, Petry shut down on Tuesday, a victim of steadily eroding business in an increasingly consolidated industry.
Petry Media, the TV and digital rep firm that began with radio in the 1930s, is now part of media history. Tuesday, the staff was told of the firm’s closing, according to several rep sources.
Petry is part of the portfolio of Patriarch Partners LLC, an investment firm with holdings in more than 75 companies across 14 industry sectors.
A call to a Patriach executive was not returned by press time.
The news came as no surprise to the industry, with many people saying they were surprised Petry lasted as long as it did.
Things started coming apart for Petry in 2008. As the economy began its big downturn, Petry started shedding clients at an alarming rate. The big blow came in April 2008 when Gannett, then its largest client, defected to CoxReps.
The following February, the company announced what many felt was inevitable in the wake of the Gannett loss. It merged its two operating units — Petry Television and Blair — into one, dropping the Blair brand.
Then, in 2013, Petry Media lost its largest client, LIN Media, triggering talk that the the 82-year-old rep firm might close. That was shortly after longtime client, the Journal Broadcast Group, had jumped to Katz Television.
In December 2013, Hubbard Broadcasting opted to move to CoxReps. Hubbard was the rep firm’s first client, joining the then Edward Petry & Co. in 1932.
As of today, the Petry website listed a handful of clients, including Drewry Communications. One source said that Drewry had recently left, bringing its rep business in-house. Calls to those companies were not returned by press time.