What is in this article?:
No financial details were available, but the deal was financed internally and brings the COMARK name back under the control of the Fiore family (and his associates), where it started some 40 years ago.
Entering a new era
“When I was first approached [by PARTER], I was immediately interested, for a number of reasons,” Fiore Jr. said, suggesting that working under Thomson Broadcast was limiting its effectiveness with U.S. and overseas TV stations.
This allows us to break away from a non-broadcast focus and enter into a new era‚” said Perry Priestley, the new vice president of sales and marketing. “We are no longer under the dictate of another company. COMARK plans to bring to the market a whole new range of products that deliver quality and performance at competitive prices. We believe that a USA manufacturer can once again be a world leader in transmitter manufacturing.”
All of the people that worked for Thomson Broadcast U.S. now work for the new COMARK. This also includes: Henry Fries, vice president of operations; Bill Onyski, director of Customer Service; and Joe Turbolski, director of sales and marketing operations. The new company will not have any affiliation with Thomson Broadcast in Paris, France. Sales channels will be established eventually, but in the near term, the company will sell direct to customers via its existing sales force.
The question on a lot of people’s minds is how Fiore and the new COMARK expects to grow a company that makes over-the-air (OTA) transmitters in a time when IP-based delivery platforms are emerging at a dizzying rate. Fiore said he’s aware of the state of the industry yet continues to see opportunity in OTA technology.
“We’re a small organization (54 employees, $20 million in sales), but we have the experience to compete,” Fiore said. “We recognize that other companies (Acrodyne Industries) have gone out of business, while others (Axcera, in bankruptcy, and, to a lesser extent, Harris) have struggled to make a profit.”
Harris Broadcast, including its transmission business, is currently up for sale. It has sold more transmitters than any other company to date.
“We think there’s an opportunity for a transmitter manufacturer based in the U.S. to service TV stations that still believe in over-the-air broadcasting,” he said, citing broadcast groups like Sinclair that continue to buy new stations. “After so many years in the business, we know what we’re doing and we plan to be successful.”