Partnership to Grow Leading Television Advertising Platform Through New Services and Acquisitions
New York - ITN Networks, Inc., a leading television advertising platform serving the needs of national broadcast advertisers, today announced that three established investors in media — Veronis Suhler Stevenson, ZelnickMedia Corporation, and Sony Pictures Television — have made a major investment in the company that will allow it to expand its current offering of media networks into additional television and broadband formats. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
ITN Networks will partner with Veronis Suhler Stevenson, ZelnickMedia, and Sony to accelerate the company’s growth by investing both in new acquisitions and in the development of new services that meet the evolving needs of major national advertisers. ITN will continue to be managed by its current management team, led by CEO Tim Connors and President & Chief Operating Officer Todd Watson.
ITN creates real advantages for advertisers by custom-building national networks that deliver the advertiser’s key consumers more efficiently and with greater impact than previously attainable through traditional national media buys, the company said. By aggregating local television station advertising inventory, and employing new technologies, custom research and comprehensive analytics ITN creates networks that target specific types of consumers and lifestyles. This is accomplished by identifying environments and times when those consumers are most receptive to each brand’s advertising.
“Veronis Suhler Stevenson, Sony Pictures Television, and ZelnickMedia each bring tremendous expertise and capital resources to the company as we extend our reach beyond broadcast television stations into advertising markets including cable and satellite TV, Internet and video games,” said Connors. “We have created a powerful new partnership for the benefit of ITN’s customers, investors, and employees.”
“ITN offers advertisers cost-effective national reach,” said Steve Mosko, president, Sony Pictures Television. “As advertisers continue to seek customized, targeted buys, ITN is perfectly positioned to grow in the marketplace.”
“We are delighted to lead this investment in ITN at such an exciting time in the company’s history,” said Kevin Waldman, Managing Director at Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company that is making the investment through its VSS Communications Partners IV and VSS Mezzanine Partners funds. “We have followed the success of ITN over the last ten years and believe its business model is uniquely relevant to today’s changing media landscape where multiple media outlets and targeted relationships between advertisers and consumers are essential to realize a return on advertising expenditures.”
“Major advertisers are demanding the ability to efficiently customize their broadcast and Internet investments and ITN is exceptionally well-positioned to serve their needs,” said Strauss Zelnick, CEO of ZelnickMedia. “We look forward to working closely with VSS, Sony Pictures Television and the ITN management team to address this large and growing market.” Mr. Zelnick will serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board of the company.
According to the Veronis Suhler Stevenson 2005 Communications Industry Forecast, the national broadcast television market served by ITN Networks totaled $32 billion in revenue last year. The U.S. market for Internet advertising is now approximately $18 billion and is expected to grow 20% annually over the next 5 years.
Veronis Suhler Stevenson received legal counsel from Lowenstein Sandler PC and Weiser LLP provided financial advisory services.
About ITN Networks, Inc.
ITN Networks (http://www.itnnetworks.com) is a preeminent national media sales company in developing and providing custom-designed national television & multimedia networks. ITN utilizes an expansive network of proprietary systems, new technologies, custom research and comprehensive analytics to deliver the right brand message to the right consumer, in the right environment at the right time. National advertisers utilize ITN Networks, with the same ease-of-use as any national media buy, to optimize their brands’ media strategies, improve returns on investment, and achieve greater accountability. Launched in 1983, ITN continually invests in emerging technologies and new partnerships, evolving with the changing media landscape and working with all major advertising agencies to design, execute and deliver guaranteed target audiences across multiple touch points. ITN Networks is based in New York, and maintains offices in Chicago.
About Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Veronis Suhler Stevenson (http://www.vss.com) is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in the media, communications, information and education industries in North America and Europe. VSS provides capital for buyouts, recapitalizations, growth financings and strategic acquisitions to companies and management teams with a goal to build companies both organically and through a focused add-on acquisition program. To date, VSS equity and mezzanine funds have invested in 45 platform companies, which have in turn completed over 200 add-on acquisitions resulting in a portfolio with realized and unrealized enterprise values totaling approximately $9.1 billion.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (http://www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series and for Indemand’s high definition channel INHD. SPT is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.