January 31, 2005


NEW YORK - Image Group Post, here, is closing its studio operations at 305 E.46th Street in Manhattan. The closing includes Image Editorial, Blinkfx and its sound division, and affects more than 80 individuals.

At the time of the closing, The Image Group was the smallest of four divisions under the NEP banner. NEP's core business is live production of sports and entertainment-related events. At press time, the company was in the process of closing a deal to acquire a UK-based mobile unit and had reached an agreement with NMT to purchase some if its mobile units, as well as take over contracts NMT has with ABC, Fox and ESPN.

"The New York City post business is a difficult business to be in and was not a core of NEP's operations," explains Jim Milano, CFO of NEP, from the company's Pittsburgh headquarters. "Our focus is on live television events - sports and entertainment related." This includes large screens that are an integral part of many live performances.

Milano adds that Image Group's lease at the East 46th Street location was not renewed, as the building's new owner chose not to continue operating the building as a commercial property. NEP, says Milano, opted not to incur the "significant cost of transition to another facility."

NEP does retain and will operate out of its 885 Second Avenue location, which serves as a duplication center and features two online rooms. Its re-branded business will operate under the NEP Studios moniker.