Catalyst Looking for Buyer

LOS ANGELES — Independent media specialist Catalyst is talking to prospective buyers, said Frank Muratore, president and CEO of the New York-based agency.

Catalyst, which recently changed its name from TBS Media Management [Adweek, March 20], is one of the oldest media agencies in the U.S. It was launched in 1960 as RDR Associates, then renamed Time Buying Services in 1969 and TBS in 1996.

The agency also has offices in Los Angeles and San Diego and claims billings in excess of $200 million from such clients as Hotjobs.com, Midway Home Entertainment and Bennigan’s restaurant chain, among others.

Muratore declined to give a reason for the decision to seek a buyer or name any suitors, but sources said the shop, like many smaller media agencies, has found it increasingly difficult to compete against the giant global media networks and independents.