'A new beginning' at Grass Valley
Marc Loftus
January 26, 2011

'A new beginning' at Grass Valley

SECAUCUS, NJ — In one of its first post-acquisition meetings with the press, Grass Valley (www.grassvalley.com) hosted an event at MLB Network, here, to not only talk about how their products are used in the workflow of the all-baseball channel, but to also introduce new executives and a new company attitude.

Grass Valley was acquired by San Francisco-based Francisco partners. The transition from previous owner Technicolor was completed on January 1, and according to new president and CEO, Alain Andreoli, leaves Grass Valley in a more financially-solid position.

Andreoli says 2011 marks “a new beginning” for Grass Valley. Francisco Partners was interested in Grass Valley for several reasons, including its technical innovations, loyal customer base and market leadership. The company’s business will be focused in four different categories moving forward: editing, servers and storage; routing and signal solutions; cameras; and switchers. And while Andreoli says there is no formal one-, five- or 10-year agenda, the market can expect to see GV work to be more agile and responsive. There will also be a move toward more software- and IT-based solutions, getting away from its “hardware” past. 

Grass Valley’s core team will operate out of San Francisco and Nevada City, CA, but Andreoli points out that they are truly a global company, with 70 percent of the company’s business taking place outside the United States, and 60 percent of its team being located outside the US as well. The company will continue to work with global contractors, but will perform its final product assembly in Nevada City. 

For the immediate future, Andreoli says Grass Valley will focus on being a “premier video technology company,” and will spend 15 percent of its revenue on R&D. They will look to leverage alliances when appropriate, and are aiming to rank first or second in every product category that they compete in.

Long-time Grass Valley executive Jeff Rosica will now serve as executive VP and chief of sales. Rosica says the acquisition has re-energized the company, as well as enhanced its leadership.

The company plans to make several announcements at the NAB show this April, but unlike years past, Rosica says Grass Valley will not release any information in the weeks leading up to the convention. Instead, they will make formal introductions just prior to the show in Las Vegas. This, he says, is for both competitive and marketing reasons. 

Both Grass Valley and MLB Network executives were on hand, and provided a tour of the complex, which previously was home to cable network MSNBC. Today, MLB Network relies heavily on Grass Valley solutions for ingesting and editing the 2,100 hours of content the network records each week during the baseball season. MLB Network uses Grass Valley’s K2 infrastructure and Aurora HD and LD editing software. The solutions are integrated into MLB’s proprietary Diamond digital asset management system, which links metadata with the video that’s ingested. MLB Network is only two years old, but is already available in over 55 million homes.