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Harris Signs SCMS to Studio Exclusive

Bob Cauthen’s company becomes only U.S. reseller for PR&E products

Harris Corp. has appointed an exclusive reseller for its PR&E studio systems and consoles in the U.S. radio broadcast market.

SCMS Inc. becomes the only U.S. dealer of that line, the companies stated. “The agreement also confirms SCMS as the main U.S. dealer for Harris radio transmission sales. Harris will continue to provide the majority of field service and technical support for its radio broadcast customers.” A company spokesman emphasized that Harris will continue to employ its in-house sales staff to sell Harris products.

In 2007 Harris named approximately a dozen “channel partners,” at least some of which sold PR&E products; those that carry PR&E gear now will no longer be able to do so.

The companies said the agreement “adds a well-respected organization with a qualified sales staff to the Harris radio broadcast sales team, extending the company’s reach into small and medium-sized markets for single-item sales.” Harris said it also expects SCMS to boost its ability to sell studio systems and packages.

This is another step away from the way Harris Broadcast sold gear in the past, and also tightens the bond between Harris and SCMS.

In 2007, as Radio World reported at the time, Harris sold its third-party product resale business to SCMS, which hired two Harris employees, purchased the dealer inventory and had phone lines transferred to SCMS for non-Harris manufactured items. That brought to a close a long era in which Harris was among dominant U.S. providers of “dealer products.” Harris’ core business of making transmitters, consoles and other hardware was not affected.

The announcement this week of the PR&E exclusive was made by Harris Director of Strategic Marketing Rich Redmond and SCMS owner Bob Cauthen.

Redmond stated, “The relationship gives Harris an exclusive, high-profile dealer that owns a large part of the radio broadcast resale market.” Cauthen commented: “Despite the tough economy, there are a large number of radio stations and broadcasters that are growing and in need of new facilities. SCMS will put more people on the street that are exclusively focused on selling new Harris products into these stations.”

SCMS has nine field offices plus its headquarters in North Carolina. The Harris broadcast business is based in Ohio. In a separate deal in late 2008 that also expanded its business, SCMS acquired Bradley Broadcast Sales.