It’s been a tough year for Screenvision: First the Justice Department sued to block its plan to merge with National CineMedia, creating a movie theater ad sales monopoly. They scrapped the deal in March. And today the company said that CEO Travis Reid is leaving “to return home to California and pursue a new career opportunity.”
Screenvision sells ads for more than 2,300 theaters with 14,300 screens, including ones owned by Carmike and Marcus.
The board, controlled by dominant investor Shamrock Capital, is looking for a successor. Shamrock paid $160 million in 2010 for transactions that gave it a 61.2% stake in the company, but it declines to say how much it now owns. Carmike has about 20%.
But Reid, who’s also an investor and has run Screenvision since 2010, will remain on the board to “advise on the transition and strategic initiatives,” the company says. For now decisions will be made collectively by five executives: CFO Kevin Neary, EVP Darryl Schaffer, EVP Cheryl Magiros, EVP Katy Loria, and CMO John McCauley.
Screenvision announced the CEO’s departure a week after it made its upfront ad sales pitch to Madison Ave. The presentation suggested that the company likely would “stress the benefits of in-theater advertising as opposed to returning to CPM competition” with National CineMedia — as they’d been doing before May 2014 when NCM agreed to pay $375 million for Screenvision — B. Riley analyst Eric Wold said. He believes that the larger company’s “dominant position in key [markets] will not only position them well with advertisers, but also lure new theaters as their contracts come up for renewal with Screenvision.”
Last month Texas-based Santikos Theatres agreed to switch to NCM from Screenvision beginning next year.
But Shamrock Capital Partner Andrew Howard says that the ad company had “a successful upfront event.” And with sales “pacing significantly ahead of last year,” it’s “poised for continued success.”