Cross Mediaworks has closed its acquisition of the Hispanic TV reps from the Interep bankruptcy. However, Azteca America has taken its national sales in-house and will also serve as rep for its largest affiliate group, Una Vez Mas. The other rep firm that Cross Mediaworks acquired in the Interep deal is Hispanic Independent Television Sales (HITS), which sells national advertising for independent stations serving Hispanic audiences.
“Cross Mediaworks and its family of companies is dramatically expanding its reach into the Hispanic media marketplace, which will provide new opportunities for our clients and our company. This is an exciting way for us to begin 2009,” declared Cross Mediaworks CEO Mark Krigsman.
Azteca America and Una Vez Mas, however, had filed an objection with the bankruptcy court to having their contracts transferred as part of the deal. So, while Cross Mediaworks has acquired a rep firm named Azteca America Spot Sales, it no longer reps the stations operated by Azteca America in LA and San Francisco, nor the Una Vez Mas stations in 17 markets, including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Miami and New York.
“We feel it’s a better strategic fit to move our very own dedicated Azteca America Spot TV Sales rep firm in-house rather than signing our spot business over to Cross Media, which does not possess the history or background that we have in the Hispanic market,” said Adrian Steckel, CEO of Azteca America.
Effective immediately, Bob Turner, President of Network Sales, will oversee both the network sales team and the newly created Azteca America Spot TV Sales division. Turner, coincidentally, was the original President of the Hispanic TV rep operation at Interep. Azteca America said Turner is currently in the process of hiring dedicated spot sales people for offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and San Antonio. Azteca America Spot TV Sales is already open for business and the new rep firm says it expects all of its offices to be fully staffed in the immediate future.
As noted in our original story, the price Cross Mediaworks paid for the Interep TV operations was subject to adjustment based on securing new rep contracts with key clients. $50,000 cash was due to be paid to the Interep bankruptcy trustee at closing. Half of a $100,000 escrow is to be released to the trustee if, within 90 days, Cross Mediaworks succeeds in signing new contracts with Dish Network and DirecTV. The other half is to be released if within the same time period the new owner signs contracts with any two of six key clients. Two of those, Azteca America (KAZA) and Una Vez Mas, are no longer in play. The other four are Pappas Telecasting, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting, Spanish Broadcasting System and TVC Broadcasting.