Thompson Street Capital Partners announced that its portfolio company Broadcast Electronics (www.bdcast.com) has acquired the assets of The Radio Experience (www.theradioexperience.com), a radio datacasting company.
Broadcast Electronics (BE) is the premier provider of mission-critical solutions for over-the-air radio stations and Internet radio. BE products help radio stations generate programming, manage audio and data, transport signals between facilities, and transmit both analog and digital signals. BE is headquartered in Quincy, Illinois.
“By joining our resources with The Radio Experience, BE is reinforcing our leadership position in the future of radio data as a means for stations to build listenership and enhance revenue,” said John Pedlow, President of Broadcast Electronics, the largest radio-only manufacturer of studio and transmitter products in the United States.
The Radio Experience is best known for its expertise in Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) technology, which permits radio broadcasters to send a data signal with additional information to radios equipped to receive them. Major broadcasters such as Infinity, Susquehanna, Entercom and ABC have been using The Radio Experience to enrich listenership since 2002. Broadcasters are currently running applications developed by the firm to send “now playing” information to text-enabled RBDS radios, HD RadioTM receivers and station websites.
“When I envisioned our products being overlaid onto BE’s existing products, I saw that the sum is greater than the parts,” said Allen Hartle, founder of The Radio Experience. “Our next step is to broaden the radio data applications for broadcasters who want to create brand loyalty, and revenue, in their local markets.”
BE will leverage assets from the acquisition to enhance broadcasters’ data offerings over RBDS as well as (digital) HD RadioTM, a technology that is providing U.S. broadcasters with new opportunities in datacasting. Over 2,500 radio stations across the United States have announced their intention to add digital broadcasting to their capabilities over the next three years.
BE was the first to market with second-generation HD Radio technology integrating digital audio and data. The company also was the first to market with a data management system for HD Radio and RBDS, an analog FM text-on-radio service also known as Radio Data System that has seen widespread adoption by broadcasters in the Europe.
Thompson Street Capital Partners is a St. Louis-based private equity firm investing in buyouts and recapitalizations of businesses with sales of $20 to $100 million. Sales of its nine platform companies total over $500 million. Other industries in which Thompson Street has invested include consumer products, catalogue and internet distribution, and automation equipment.