We broke the story yesterday afternoon (MBR 12/1/08), with confirmation from McGavren Guild President Lisa Sirotka-Sonnenklar and Barry Fischer, McGavren Guild RVP and GM for the Spanish Broadcasting System client group: In the ashes of the Interep bankruptcy, its McGavren Guild division has gotten funding—and likely approval by now from the court trustees—to open their doors as an independent rep firm. This means they can go after all of 600-700 stations, including SBS, that Interep left in its wake that have not yet decided where to sign for a rep. We’re still trying to find out whether the name McGavren Guild will stay, or whether the funding goes to McGavren Guild vets, with a new name. The likelihood, from what we’ve heard, is the name will stay. The official release should come out at any time. We’re also looking to find out:
* What name will the Spanish radio rep for SBS use?
* Will the new company also rep Hispanic TV (SBS & others)? SBS’s Mega TV had been repped by Interep’s HITS (Hispanic Independent Television Sales). The same staff that repped the independent Spanish TV stations and cable networks also repped most of the Azteca America Network affiliates via Azteca America Spot TV Sales. Tom Marsillo ran both operations.
McGavren Guild also represented Radio Disney, Cherry Creek Broadcasting, WBEB-FM, Perry Broadcasting, American General Media, Buckley Broadcasting (now at Katz), Crawford Broadcasting, Curtis Media, Inner City Broadcasting, Next Media, Pamal Broadcasting, Renda Broadcasting, Sinclair TeleCable, Univision, and WEAZ Radio and others.
RBR/TVBR observation: The news probably couldn’t have come any sooner, as many Interep clients are considering signing with Katz out of necessity. Now that Interep’s Focus 360 and McGavren Guild are back in the game, it should help foster a healthy sense of competition back in the marketplace. When there’s a monopoly, deal-making tends to become less and less flexible, less client-focused and agencies/clients tend to walk. Nonetheless, the goal for any rep company these days has to be creative selling ideas packaged in multimedia [read: Internet] offerings.