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Syndie marriage of convenience, savings

May 7, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Rather than be marginalized or muscled out of the increasingly consolidated syndication business, two little indie operators based in New York have boldly taken a page from the book of much larger entertainment companies.

BKS Entertainment and MG Perin have forged a strategic alliance under which the two companies will share office space and sales and backroom staffs while maintaining corporate independence.

It’s the culmination of three years of conversations among the principals-BKS Entertainment CEO Bob Silberberg and President Len Koch and MG Perin CEO Dick Perin-who know each other well, as both friends and competitors.

“We only recently decided to bite the bullet and do some of the things we’ve been talking about,” said Mr. Silberberg.

Mr. Koch put his mark on the syndication business in 1970, when he was chairman of Syndicast Services, by offering the networks first-run programs in return for ad time.

MG Perin was formed in 1976 by Marvin Grieve (now chairman emeritus) and Mr. Perin to distribute a series of vignettes from the Ford-Carter election campaign.

Each company had three salespeople. Now, there are three dedicated salespeople between them, one each in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. They’ve also consolidated back-office functions in a two-person staff.

The principals will cross company lines to pitch in on sales of product that between them ranges from BKS’s feature film packages and three one-hour “Latin Explosion” specials to MG Perin’s “Life in the Wild” and “Black Indians: An American Story,” geared toward Black History Month 2001.