Eric Schwartzman

Entertainment Studios Corp. 

Client
Entertainment Studios CorporationBYR pax full, produces, distributes and sells advertising time for 15 television programs, making it the largest independent producer/distributor of first-run, syndicated programming in the world.
 
Three of the programs, “Entertainers with Byron Allen,” “The American Athlete,” and “Kickin’ It with Byron Allen” are hosted by Entertainment Studios chairman and chief executive officer Byron Allen, whose experience hosting “Real People” was his training ground for the business of television. Entertainment Studios is headquartered in Los Angeles, and the company has offices in New York City and Chicago.

Situation

As Entertainment Studios aggressively pursued a $2.2 billion takeover bid for Paxson Communications, Schwartzman & Associates, the client’s public relations firm for more than five years, was asked to support the offer with a national media relations program.

Tactics

Leveraging word of mouth into a carefully timed feature story in Television Week, Schwartzman & Associates sent the published trade feature to a knowledgeable, Los Angeles-based media business newswire reporter at Reuters, walking him through the potential ramifications of the acquisition, impressing upon him the importance of the news and securing a live interview with Mr. Allen, during which he confirmed that his company was “aggressively pursuing” a deal. This resulted in a Reuters story, which we immediately sent to our contacts at the Associated Press and Dow Jones, securing staffed wire reports from these syndicates as well.

Through our relationships with key reporters at newspapers and online news outlets nationwide, the firm made sure these wire breaks appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many more. We then used the newspaper coverage to secure features in Florida, where Paxson is based, in Los Angeles, where Entertainment Studios is based, and with influential African-American targeted news organizations including BET, Black Enterprise and EUR.com.

So successful was the media relations initiative that Chuck Ross, publisher of Television Week, ran a full page ad in their National Association of Broadcasters issue, reprinting the original article about “Allen Readying Deal to Buy Paxson” with text excerpted from stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, which said “prompted Paxson’s stock price to more than double yesterday.”

Results

Reuters, Dow Jones and Associated Press articles secured.
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe and 44 other pick-ups.
MSN Money, MSNBC.com, CBS Marketwatch, ABCNews.com and 37 other online pick-ups.
Florida Sun-Sentinel and Los Angeles Business Journal regional feature coverage secured.
BET, Black Enterprise, EURweb and more African-American focused media outlets secured.
Television Week runs full-page reprint in NAB issue with bonus distribution at convention.
Paxson share price up 130% and trading volume more than quadruples.


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