Gores Group Gives Transmitter Logo a New Look

It doesn't look as if GatesAir, created when the Gores Group split Harris Broadcast into two companies, will adopt the old Gates logo. The new GatesAir logo is more modern, with the "A" in air created as a simple upside down V highlighted by concentric waves. Looking at the examples, the "Gates" portion of the logo bears more resemblance to original Gates logo--created after the business was originally chartered by Parker Gates--than the italicized ones adopted by Harris before they dropped the Gates name altogether.

Both GatesAir, the transmitter side, and Imagine Communications, the studio side of the business, will fall under Gores Group's Harris Broadcast operation, at least for now. Separating the two businesses could make it easy for Gores Group, a private equity firm, to take one or both of the companies public in an IPO at some point or perhaps sell one or both of them. Gores Group conducted its first public offering, Stock Building Supply, in 2013. Gores Group sometimes sells its investments; in 2011 it sold Lineage Power to General Electric and before that, in 2010, sold Vincotech to Mitsubishi Electric. The Gores Group History on its website says the company was founded in 1987 by Alec Gores "with the single vision to buy, fix, and sell businesses."

GatesAir will be headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and will maintain its manufacturing, supply chain and fulfillment center in Quincy, Ill.

"With vibrant new identities and focus, Imagine Communications and GatesAir are well-positioned to serve our industry and customers," said Charlie Vogt, CEO of both GatesAir and Imagine Communications. "GatesAir will continue to lead the next-generation TV and radio over-the-air market, with a focus on providing wireless innovations that reduce power consumption and carbon footprint, while leveraging the growth in digital radio and TV transmission across the globe."

Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer at GatesAir, added: "We are thrilled to bring back the positive market heritage associated with the name Gates. We gain the best of both worlds by empowering our expert teams, technology and customer base, while also gaining exclusive focus and entrepreneurial autonomy to best serve the over-the-air radio and TV market. Today, we are better positioned than ever in our history to build best-of-breed, over-the-air solutions that take advantage of the latest breakthroughs and changes that will occur over the next decade in content delivery and distribution across the globe. With spectrum reallocation on the horizon in the U.S. and similar dynamic changes around the world, our customers are highly focused on staying ahead of the technology curve, and we are ideally suited to support their new requirements and cutting edge deployments."

The two companies will have separate booths at NAB 2014. Look for GatesAir's products at their usual location in the North Hall of the LVCC, booth N609.

For an excellent history of Gates Radio, see the Gates/Harris Radio Section of The Broadcast Archive maintained by Barry Mishkind, "the Eclectic Engineer." He's even updated it with the new GatesAir logo so you can see how it compares with the previous logos. I'm happy to see the Gates name back in broadcasting. I used Gates AM and FM transmitters at my first broadcast job in the late 1960's.

GatesAir is the second company to go back to its original name after splitting off from a larger company. Comark Communications returned to its original name in 2012 after being called Thomcast, Thomson and Thales after it became part of Thomson. Comark is now owned by its U.S. management team. I wonder what other names might now emerge from the past.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.