Westwood One announced that TM Studios, the famed jingle and production house it owned, was purchased for an undisclosed figure by Major Triad Media, a partnership that is being run by three TM Studio veterans: Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens and General Manager Greg Clancy.
TM Studio will transition from its Dallas-based home to become a multinational entity with studios in Dallas, Los Angeles and the U.K. The company — which creates custom station jingles, from full buyouts to syndicated imaging packages — has clients like the American Forces Radio Network and over the years TM has been owned and operated by iconic individuals such as Roy Disney and Bill Drake. The transaction was finalized on the 30th Anniversary of the merger between TM Productions and Century 21 Productions, which became TM Century Inc., a predecessor to TM Studios.
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“From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM,” said Bethell, who is creative director of Major Triad Media. “Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break.” Bethell said he has written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since and, as co-owner, is “excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.”
Life at TM also brings back fond memories for Clancy. “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year-old,” said Clancy, who is general manager of Major Triad Media. “Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy. ”
The trio of owners come to the partnership with a list of accomplishments. Clancy is a singer, writer and producer of radio station jingles and commercial jingles. He also directs the 13-time gold medal winning men’s chorus, The Vocal Majority, and sings tenor in the champion quartet, Max Q.
Bethell is a long-time jingle/music composer, producer, voiceover artist and business owner. He was the voice of the London 2012 Olympic games and is currently the voice of Virgin Radio UK and dozens of radio stations around the world. Bethell created the radio-specific production music catalog Beds & Beats, which he sold to BMG in 2015.
Stevens was a former vice president and creative at TM and has since returned to Manchester, England, where he runs a production company and programs one of Europe’s leading country music radio stations. Stevens launched the world’s first updating jingle package while at TM, and is an experienced composer and broadcaster.
TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One via a multiyear agreement in which it will serve as exclusive barter representative.
“Greg, Dave and Chris each have a special and unique history with TM Studios,” said Suzanne Grimes, executive vice president of marketing for Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One. “They are the perfect team to lead TM through its next incarnation. We look forward to the magic they will create and to continued success working with them.”