Last pieces of Interep sold


Former owner Sheila Kirby and current President Susan Novicki are buying the sales consulting company Morrison and Abraham as bankruptcy trustee Kenneth Silverman files the last contracts to sell the pieces of Interep. The price tag for this piece is a mere $5,200, which gives the buyers the M&A name, website, phone numbers and the right to carry on business. There’s also a buyer for Interep’s two Hispanic TV reps, with a somewhat higher price tag.

“I personally, as an Interep president and strategic sales president, could not let the amazing company…go into the ether of this bankruptcy,” Kirby told RBR/TVBR, noting that it had been part of her life for 25 years.

Morrison and Abraham is basically operating as it has in the past, consulting radio, TV and newspaper companies on developing new revenues. Assuming Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approves the sale, the new company being created to own M&A is responsible for all bills as of December 1st. It will be owned and controlled by Kirby and Novicki.

“We’ve run it totally separate of Interep,” noted Novicki. So, she said, there should be no change in how it is run, except that it will evolve in the future as it has in the past.

“This is all about helping media. Media are the core clients of Morrison and Abraham, whether it’s television, newspaper, direct mail, cable, radio. We help their regional and local sales staffs go after different dollars,” Kirby said. As it states on the M&A website, “Over the years, Morrison and Abraham has developed over $500 million in developmental revenue from the sales side of Fortune 1000 companies with their clients.”

According to the history on the company website, Kirby’s tenure at M&A goes back to 1986, a year after it was founded by Lisa Morrison. Kirby became President in 1990 and, with Becky McElaney, bought the company in 1996. The two sold it to Interep CEO Ralph Guild in 1999. Kirby passed the mantel of President to Novicki in 2001.

The other deal to finish the sell-off of Interep’s divisions will have Azteca America Spot Sales and Hispanic Independent Television Sales (HITS), the two Hispanic TV reps, sold to Hispanic Independent Television Sales LLC. The buyer is a subsidiary of Cross-MediaWorks, will pay up to $150,000 to acquire the TV rep firms. That figure is “up to” because part of the payment is dependent upon being able to nail down new contracts with key clients.

RBR/TVBR observation: That’s a wrap. Other than a skeleton staff remaining to handle the payments still flowing in and out, Interep is no more. Katz paid to cancel the radio rep contracts and the managers bought the name to keep McGavren-Guild running as a competitor to Katz. The in-house managers also bought Interep Interactive and Morrison and Abraham. And now Cross-MediaWorks is buying the Hispanic TV reps. An era has ended.