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Convention time is deal time

Convention time is when many companies vie for headline space by announcing partnerships, outright company buys, acquisitions, key trade deals, personnel changes and other business arrangements. Given the number deals that seem to occur around NAB, one might consider the convention as “Let‘s Make a Deal” time.

Think about some of the recent deals in our industry. Thomson buys Grass Valley and everyone begins speaking French. Press releases are now issued with values in euros, not dollars.

I remember in 2004 having an NAB conversation with the then new Pinnacle CEO, Patti Hart. I asked her directly if she‘d been brought in to sell the company. Her straight-faced response, “Oh no, I‘m here to build the company.” By March, 2005, she‘d sold Pinnacle to Avid. Patty didn‘t know I‘d already researched her resume and her entire career was little more than a string of sold signs. This woman failed the Pinocchio test.

In 2005, Leitch purchased Videotek. Then Leitch bought Inscriber. The ink hadn‘t dried on that contract before the broadcast behemoth Harris came along and consumed Leitch and its recent acquisitions, Videotek and Inscriber.

Deals are made all the time, but NAB is especially an active venue. I know first hand how one company was told to either agree to the deal before NAB or there would be no deal. The deal was completed, and another long-familiar name went away. The entire reason the sale took place prior to NAB was that the buyer wanted to use the convention as time to highlight its size and prowess. It worked.

Today, it seems the only ones not buying other companies are the Japanese. Maybe they‘re still feeling the sting of their last foray into the U.S. marketplace where they purchase media companies and real-estate - most of which later tanked.

So, in case you haven‘t kept up on some of the current deal making, stay tuned to Broadcast Engineering magazine. We‘ll be everywhere and bringing you the news daily via web, blog and video.