Morris: Gores Is ‘Well-Capitalized, Committed’

The Harris brand name will remain on products for three years
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Harris Broadcast President Harris Morris says private equity firm The Gores Group, which we reported is purchasing the Harris Broadcast Communications division, is a “strong buyer with great operational expertise.” The division has some 1,700 employees.

Looking at Gore’s strategy historically, they seek out businesses “with a strong core.”

“That’s what you see in our business in places like traffic and automation, servers and transmission and so forth,” said Morris in an interview.

Morris will continue to lead the business going forward and says he’ll report to a board under Gores. The headquarters will remain in Colorado.

Since the deal was just announced and expected to close within 40 to 60 days, both sides are limited in what they can say publicly about what’s to come. However Morris did say some two and a half years ago Harris began simplifying its designs, user interfaces and installs to reduce costs for its customers. That approach “is starting to work,” says Morris, who adds that Gores has people who “can really help us accelerate what we began under Harris and take it forward.” Early customer reaction to the announced buyer has been positive, Morris indicated.

Gores managing director Ryan Wald said in a statement the firm is “excited to provide the capital and support to transition this division to a strong and independent company.”

Morris characterized Gores as a “well-capitalized owner that’s very committed to this business and space,” helping Harris to “drive great service, support and continued innovation.”

The Harris brand name will remain on products for three years.

Asked whether the company would still produce HD Radio products, Morris said he couldn’t comment about specifics, however he said “We love” the HD Radio products, such as the Flexiva line. “Those [offerings] are growing nicely and doing well.”

The company is planning new products for the spring NAB convention.


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Morris Blum Remembered as Pioneer

From the time he founded WANN(AM) in historic Annapolis in 1947 until he sold it in 1997, Morris H. Blum used his radio station to champion human rights in a city that, years before, had served as a slave arrival port.