“This is a strategic change in how we go to market, and is aimed at taking advantage of our scale to deepen our relationships with national clients by embracing automation, and focusing our talented marketing executives on solutions that drive client results,” the station group said in a statement.
With growing station group M&A and more in-house repping, industry observers say Cox Media Group may have to decide whether to sell the rep division or shutter it. However, Cox’s automated sales platform Videa remains a key asset.
The newly acquired stations will manage their national ad sales in-house like the rest of Gray’s stations.
The former head of Cox Media Inc., the advertising division of Cox Communications, will oversee the rep firm as well as Videa and Gamut. He succeeds David Palmer and Jason Morrow, the former president and COO, respectively, of Cox Reps, who left recently.
Kim Guthrie becomes CMG’s EVP of national ad platforms and succeeds the retiring Jim Monahan as president of Cox Reps. Bill Hendrich will succeed Guthrie as EVP of radio and CMG Research; and Marian Pittman, CMG’s new EVP of digital strategy, will oversee CMG’s digital strategy, content and sales.
Katz’s Continental division replaces Cox Reps at seven stations: WKBW Buffalo (ABC); WMYD Detroit (MNT); KDLH Duluth, Minn. (CBS); WISE Ft. Wayne, Ind. (NBC); KSEE Fresno, Calif. (NBC); WHOI Peoria, Ill. (ABC); and KOFY San Francisco (independent).
New York State court sided in favor of the Cox Reps firms MMT and HRP, and against broadcaster Acme Communications. The decision would entitle the two rep firms to about $2.4 million. Acme claims its damages involve millions of dollars.
Their station clients are grumbling and buying agencies are insisting that spot TV can be bought and sold like any other commodity. But the three survivng indie rep firms — Katz, Cox and Petry — are undaunted. In the face of multiple challenges, they are reinventing themselves confident that they can continue to prove their worth in the digital, multiplatform future.
A division of New York-based Cox Reps, Cox Digital is also acquiring the advertising sales group from Internet Broadcasting.
TV rep firm Adam Young Inc., to cease operations at the end of January. A new Cox sales team will be based in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.