It’s good to see fresh investment in radio: PD and Radio Consultant Kent Phillips, Timeless Cool Music founder Mark Follett and Hambleton Resources principal Bert Hambleton have united to form a new radio investment company “Timeless Cool Custom Programming” (TCCP) that already includes national sales rep firm The Tacher Company and Mike Gould’s Eastlan Ratings. TCCP’s mission is to syndicate formats and provide consulting services for station programming.
The trio said in a release it believes in Eastlan’s phone-survey methodology, larger sampling and their more economical pricing structure in a tough economy for broadcasters: “This investment will add affiliates and enhance the use of cell-phone sampling. making Eastlan the new industry standard in non-PPM markets. TCCP also plans to invest in the use of barter, in situations where stations qualify, to provide more options for broadcasters to pay for ratings.”
As to Bellevue, WA-based Tacher Company’s investment in “Timeless Cool Custom Programming,” it aims to allow smaller and medium size markets to have better access to both regional and national advertising dollars. Tacher, which started as a northwest regional rep over 40 years ago currently represents more than 300 radio stations. They recently opened offices in Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta to broaden its national footprint. This investment will allow Tacher to open additional offices to help expand their station client base across the country.
Tacher President Greg Tacher tells RBR-TVBR: “We’re delighted to be working with these companies and the growth opportunities our partnership brings. Together we’re continuing to invest in radio and our station clients to better serve the national sales arena. As we enter our 44th year, we’re as optimistic as ever for growing sales revenue for our partners.”
He adds that the amount is being kept private, “but it allows us to do some immediate expansion.”
RBR-TVBR asked Scott Gilreath, TCCP Director of Corporate & Major Market Affiliations, if the investment trio managed to find any lender willing to finance such a venture in the current environment, or did they put up 100% equity funding?
“The new private equity company investors put up the initial cash,” he said, “but have a banking relationship to invest in or acquire interesting assets if they want to use it.”
The new investment group (www.timelesscoolcustomprogramming.com) will not only continue to syndicate Timeless Cool, the fastest growing AC format in America, but now also provides the Country, Hot AC, and Classic Hits formats as Phillips merges his consulting company into the new company. TCCP’s emphasis is on providing radio companies with highly researched custom formats. Timeless Cool Custom Programming’s Affiliate team will rep these formats.
In addition to Kent Phillips consulting both Hot AC & Country formats (he’s also the Morning show host and PD of Fisher Broadcasting’s KPLZ-FM), Rob Moore will continue to program Cool AC and veteran programmer Jay Kelly will handle Classic Hits. Moore, creator of Timeless Cool AC as well as The Breeze format in 1987,is a multi-award winning PD for stations in Minneapolis and New Orleans. Jay Kelly has spent the last 16 years programming Entercom’s KBSG and Clear Channel’s KJR, both legendary oldies stations in Seattle.
Phillips consults multiple radio stations including over half dozen stations in PPM markets that are rated number 1 in their format. He’s also owned several stations primarily in the Northwest.
Follett launched Timeless Cool in February of 2010. For the last 11 years, he has also lead a team that has invested in multiple radio stations and strategic radio formats.
Hambleton Resources is research firm that has helped develop marketing strategy for hundreds of small and mid-sized companies in both the retail and communication industries over the past 30 years.