Initiative Buys PIC TV

Initiative Media North America continues to aggressively pursue chairman and CEO Lou Schultz’s ambitious growth plans. The latest piece fell into place last week when Initiative acquired privately held promotional TV agency PIC TV, the nation’s largest source of promotional TV advertising spots.
The Burbank, Calif.-based company will be merged with Initiative’s Promotional Broadcast Services division , a category pioneer that was formed in 1984, resulting in a new, freestanding division called PIC TV. The combined entity will command an estimated $100 million in promotional ad dollars.
Promotional broadcast media includes 10-second spots on syndicated sports, entertainment and game shows, as well as prize giveaways, promotional fee mentions and closed-captioning sponsorships. The deal gives Initiative a dominating position in the category.
“We’re going to keep this company going north,” said Schultz, “adding to our asset base and adding assets. …We can use [the new PIC TV division] in a lot of different ways to help this company grow, not only here but in Europe, where the [category] is in its infancy.”
Rob Murphy, PIC TV founder and principal, will be chairman of the new promotional media division. Steve Berger, head of the former PBS division, will become president and CEO of the enterprise.
The Burbank firm worked with game shows such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Hollywood Squares, as well as Columbia TriStar Television and other studios. PBS’ major clients include AOL and Meineke.