Ed Sullivan is ankling television broadcast design and branding powerhouse Pittard Sullivan after 15 years as CEO and prexy to pursue other endeavors. Move comes as the company is negotiating with several unnamed suitors to take over the operation.
The immediate departure is said to be amicable with longtime partner Billy Pittard, but comes nearly a week after the Culver City-based company laid off 40 staffers, due to the weakening advertising economy.
“Our clients are doing it. If we don’t respond, we look foolish,” Sullivan told Daily Variety. The company will likely not shut down, he said, but will “keep limping along with the rest of the limping economy.”
Roughly 50 staffers still remain at the five-time Emmy-winning venture whose primary business revolves around creating main titles, network identities, on air promos, commercials and other marketing work for clients, including the major broadcast networks, cable outlets including TBS, CNN, Lifetime and Discovery Networks, film studios and global TV nets.
Most recently, Sullivan helped launch TiVo, AOL Plus and devised new strategies for British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. Previously, he helped brand Showtime, Fox and CBS.
Sullivan is mulling several offers and will decide on his next move in the coming weeks. Sullivan said he is looking to move beyond design and graphics to focus more on moving content businesses across platforms.
“It’s been a tremendous ride, but it’s time to move on,” he said. “I am not planning to leave my partner stranded, because my leaving Pittard Sullivan includes financial and moral obligations that must be met. It’s time for me to extend beyond what we’ve been able to accomplish and to pursue the next big wave in the media business — namely how to create compelling lifestyle content and multi-revenue-stream businesses that will turn audiences into customers and customers into audiences.”