Don’t be surprised if Harris changes the name of its Broadcast Communications Division soon.
Division President Tim Thorsteinson hinted as much during a meeting with trade reporters in New York, saying the BCD is “soon to be called something else.” He indicated that the company’s business is no longer just in traditional broadcast, although he has said several times that Harris will continue to support those media as well.
The company, he said, “will shift investments from flat/declining markets to high-growth areas.” That was immediately apparent. TV transmission has been soft, he said, resulting in layoffs this month (see related story).
However HD Radio sales have been strong. Harris thinks it has more than half the HD Radio market, and hopes for more ahead, also citing “aggressive” international growth thanks to digital developments in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and other countries.
In previewing products planned for at NAB, Thorsteinson told gathered reporters that Harris revenue from continuing operations increased from $1.84 billion in 2002 to $3.47 billion in 2006; he called it “a great five-year run.” Broadcast sales, he said, are about $625 million per year and he’d like to grow the business 8 to 10 percent per year.
“Prior to 2000, Harris was essentially a transmitter business,” he said, noting that since then it has acquired Louth, Encoda, Invenio, Arkemedia, Leitch, Videotek, Inscriber, Aastra and OSI.
Harris, he indicated, will continue to look to acquire other businesses.
Overall, he said, business is “the best it’s ever been in my 12 years in the industry — forgetting the TV transmitter hiccup.”