You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Burchill exits Lifetime to buy interest in Petry

Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company.

Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm.

The odds-on-favorite to succeed Burchill at the cable network is Lifetime executive VP Doug McCormick.

Allen, who also holds the title of Petry president, reportedly will remain in his position with the company for an unspecified period. He owns a substantial percentage of the firm, with the remaining ownership shares said to be spread among top management.

Petry declined to comment yesterday and reps for Lifetime could not be reached at press time.

Terms of the deal–which comes a year after Katz bought Seltel for an estimated $ 15 million–and the source of Burchill’s financing could not be determined yesterday. Sources ruled out Lifetime as a backer.

The Petry rep firm bills slightly more than $ 800 millionannually, ranking behind Katz (which combined with Seltel has nearly $ 1.2 billion in billings) and TeleRep Inc. ($ 1 billion-plus).

In terms of the number of stations represented by the rep firm, Petry stands behind Katz, Blair and TeleRep. But Petry has more indies on its client list than most, many in big markets, which provide it with more time to program and sell than some competitors.

Petry has long been rumored to be on the market. Burchill, who worked for Petry in the 1960s, had at one time sought to purchase at least one other rep firm, per industry sources.

During Burchill’s nine-year tenure, Lifetime has grown into the nation’s fifth-largest basic cable service, with 58 million subscribers.

More Scene

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company. Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm. […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company. Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm. […]

  • 'Molly's Game' film premiere, Arrivals, AFI

    Jessica Chastain Praises Bravery of Sexual Assault Victims at 'Molly's Game' Premiere, AFI Fest Tribute to Aaron Sorkin

    Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company. Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm. […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company. Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm. […]

  • Girls Inc. hosts the 2017 LA

    Warner Bros. TV Exec Calls for End to Sexual Harassment: 'Enough Is Enough'

    Petry Inc., the nation’s third highest-billing station rep firm, is expected to announce today that Thomas F. Burchill will buy out Petry chairman David S. Allen’s majority interest in the company. Burchill is stepping down as prexy-CEO of Lifetime Television and the entity that oversees it, Hearst-ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services, to take over the rep firm. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content