Valentine’s Indie Days Are Numbered

DALLAS One Square Advertising said it has signed a letter of intent to merge with Valentine Radford. The merger would create a $250 million entity.

The independent companies expect the deal to be completed by Dec. 1; financial terms were not disclosed.

Dallas-based One Square is the holding company for Southwest Media Group and Square One Advertising. Under the proposed arrangement, Valentine Radford of Kansas City, Mo., would become a third entity under the One Square umbrella.

Bob Nichol would retain his posts as CEO of One Square and president and CEO of Southwest Media Group.

Ernie Capobianco, who would retain his role as president of One Square, would add the responsibilities of president and CEO of both Square One and Valentine Radford. (Square One does not currently have a president and CEO; shop executives have reported directly to Nichol.)

Chuck Curtis, currently CEO of Valentine Radford, would become chairman of that shop and of Square One.

Fifty-six-year-old Valentine Radford, with 48 employees, has been struggling since losing Bayer Corp.’s environmental science division last October. Curtis has said that business accounted for about half of the agency’s $25 million in 2001 revenue. Capobianco said the shop’s current billings total about $50 million.

Square One’s billings total about $80 million, Capobianco said, and Southwest Media Group’s billings are approximately $120 million. Seven-year-old Square One has 105 employees; the media group employs 39. Earlier this year the holding company lost creative and media duties on Dave & Buster’s $5-7 million account and lost the creative portion of Whataburger’s $12 million account; SMG retains the fast-food chain’s media chores.