Thomson grows together with Grass Valley

Apr 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Thomson Broadcast Solutions announced its new management team last week at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas and stressed the speed with which the recently acquired Grass Valley Group has been integrated into the division of Thomson Multimedia.
Marc Valentin, VP of Thomson Broadcast Solutions, emphasized that the combined entity arrived at the NAB show with one booth, one sales plan and a unified product road map.
In addition, Thomson Broadcast Solutions received “tens of millions of dollars” in orders over the past month from media companies, including CNN, HBO and the BBC. That figure includes millions of dollars in orders for its flagship product, the Profile server.
Tim Thorsteinson, the former CEO and president of Grass Valley, now serves as VP of the combined switcher, server, digital news production, router, master control, facility control and modular product lines division.
Russ Johnson, formerly the VP of sales for Grass Valley Group, is now VP of sales for the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Jean-Marc Budin, who previously shepherded European sales, is now VP of sales for Europe, Hong Kong, China, Central America and South America. Mike Cronk, formerly the VP of marketing, will manage Profile marketing and operation of the Grass Valley Digital News Production Group.
Blended identity
Despite the highly touted integration, the big issue of blending the brands under a unified nameplate remains. That will be a top marketing priority, and the company hopes to introduce a new unified brand name in the next 90 days.
The Grass Valley name is a large reason why Thomson made the acquisition, and the company will likely want to leverage that name, said a company spokesperson.
Mr. Thorsteinson also wants to improve efforts to make the products open and standards-based. The input of French engineers from Thomson, who are used to working with European standards, should help, he said. “We have always had the philosophy of development based on open standards,” he said. “We hope to have more of a focus going forward [on that].” He added that digital news production equipment will be the fastest growing portion of the business over the next 24 months.