Marketron, a company whose software helps radio and TV broadcasters manage their advertising, has a new owner and a new CEO.
The company announced this morning that it has been acquired by private equity firm Diversis Capital. (The previous owner, BlackRock Capital, will remain an investor.) It also announced that Michael Collins, previously the CEO of mobile ad startup Adelphic, is taking over from Jeff Haley as CEO.
Marketron serves traditional broadcasters (more than 7,000 radio and TV stations) and was founded back in 1969, so it might not seem like the obvious next move for Collins, who left Adelphic last year following its acquisition by Time Inc.
Collins explained that he first worked on the deal as a partner at Diversis — then firm suggested “jumping over to the CEO role” at Marketron, a move that ended his “brief flirtation with private equity.”
As for why he was interested, Collins noted that radio still has enormous reach — and when he’s talking about radio, he means traditional, terrestrial radio stations, where digital streaming remains “a small part” of overall revenue.
“It’s our job to future proof their business,” Collins said. That might include doing more with streaming, but he said it also means exploring programmatic ad-buying. And he suggested that radio stations will do better with advertisers as they focus less on a “channel-based approach,” and more on an “audience-based approach” — in other words, on the fact that they give advertisers access to a local audience.
“Local market advertising is a big — I don’t want to say untapped, but certainly not-fully-tapped opportunity,” he added.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Collins said that Marketron was profitable at the time of the acquisition, and that Diversis is making a sizable investment in the company: “They’re not just funding losses — the investment they’re putting in is funding growth.”
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