Hubbard Jumps From Petry To CoxReps

Petry has been losing a steady stream of clients due to station consolidation and to the periodic raids that reps stage on each other's business. Last month, news broke that Petry had lost its biggest client, LIN Media, which is going to Katz Television, as well as the Journal Broadcast Group.

Petry Media lost another major client this week with Hubbard Broadcasting opting to move to CoxReps, Hubbard Broadcasting President Rob Hubbard confirmed today.

It was a tough decision, said Hubbard, noting that the family-owned broadcast group’s relationship with Petry goes back to the 1920s. “It was no fun.”

Hubbard said his 13 stations would be represented mostly by CoxReps’ HRP unit.

“Cox and Hubbard share many of the same values, traditions and visions for the future in local broadcast television, and we look forward to a successful partnership,” said CoxReps President Jim Monahan in a prepared statement.

Hubbard’s hand was almost forced. Petry has been losing a steady stream of clients due to station consolidation and to the periodic raids that reps stage on each other’s business.

Last month, news broke that Petry had lost its biggest client, LIN Media, as well as the Journal Broadcast Group.

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At the time, Journal said it was moving its business to Katz Television.

According to sources, Katz told its clients this week that it had picked up the rep business for the LIN stations that had been repped by Petry.

One of Petry’s few remaining clients is West Virginia Media Holdings. Contacted by TVNewsCheck, CEO Bray Cary wasn’t ready to announce any plans.”We are in conversations to figure out the best way forward.”

Neither LIN nor Petry could be contacted for this story.

Without LIN and Hubbard, Petry probably lacks enough station clients to sustain itself.

Asked if his move meant the end of Petry, Hubbard said he didn’t know. “I don’t want to speculate. It certainly is going to be difficult for them.”




Comments (10)

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kendra campbell says:

December 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm

RIP Petry.
The chain of events that started with Burchill/McAuliff gross mismanagement is now complete.

Roger Lyons says:

December 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Petry’s remaining independent clients should start to talking to Katz and Cox soon. With no major group in the fold, the company can’t continue for much longer.

alicia farmer says:

December 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Harry – You state that “Petry has been losing a steady stream of clients due to station consolidation and the periodic raids that reps stage on each other’s business.” 15 years ago PMC (Petry/Blair/Fox TV Sales) was the same size as Cox and Katz. The majority of group defections were due to mismanagement and its subsequent loss of confidence. The disastrous reign of Tom Burchill and Tim McAuliff started the process. Probably 90% of the losses were self inflicted. It wasn’t bad luck or fate.

none none says:

December 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Put a fork in them…they’re done.

Brad Dann says:

December 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

It’s a bad business, except for Political; spot is growing at an anemic rate at best. Reps are still selling their services using relationships (like it’s the 1970’s), nobody has done anything innovative with technology to differentiate themselves. There will be only one rep plus reps owned by station groups/networks by the end of the decade.

    Roger Lyons says:

    December 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Are you trying to suggest that a group like Sinclair buy what’s left of Petry and make it their national sales arm?

    Maria Black says:

    December 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Considering Dialectric, why not? Or even Tribune, as they are full of buying surprises.

Julie Connors says:

December 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Down, but not out I say. I think Hubbard jumped the gun. They had a good thing going with LIN and Journal out of the way. There’s something to be said about being a big fish in a small pond. I’ve been in this business for over 35 years and I can tell you that the rep business is about to consume itself. History will repeat itself. If all you are left with are two big rep firms, Katz and Cox and you don’t like how they are servicing your business, where do you go? I’ll tell you where… IN HOUSE. You throw your inventory on a server or service that allows agencies to bid on the inventory (i.e. programmatic buying). That is the future. Rep firms are all destined for the same fate of the dinosaur. Petry has been around for over 85 years, I don’t see them leaving anytime soon.

    Roger Lyons says:

    December 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This is just a repeat of what happened to PGW 30-35 years ago. Petry can’t survive without a major station group. They wouldn’t have the collective clout to go to work for their clients. The radio industry is down to one major player (Katz) and a smaller McGavren Guild that’s 1/5 the size of what was Interep.

Julie Connors says:

December 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

In theory, the size of Petry as it stands would be a great opportunity for a station group to control its own national sales destiny. They would be THE featured player in a national sales organization. Perhaps Petry with the support of its billion dollar holdings company could capture the attention a sizeable station that just might be lost in the shuffle at Katz and Cox.


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