Gannett Spins Off Captivate

Captivate Network, which operates digital displays in elevators in over 1,000 big office buildings across the U.S. and Canada, is being partially spun off by owner Gannett Co., which has partnered with private equity firm Generation Partners. Henceforth Captivate will be a separate company co-owned by Gannett and Generation.

As part of the transaction, Marc Kidd, previously president of media sales for Outdoor Channel Holdings, has been named chief executive officer of Captivate. Mark Shapiro --who most recently served as CEO of Dick Clark Productions and is also a director at Papa John’s and Live Nation among other companies -- has been named chairman, and is also an investor alongside Generation Partners. Captivate founder Mike Difranza is leaving the company.

The deal will enable Captivate to continue expanding with funding supplied by Generation, according to the partners, including new investments in core and new businesses. Meanwhile Gannett will continue to benefit from the distribution of its content via Captivate displays.

Generating Partners managing partner Andrew Hertzmark praised Captivate’s strong relationships with both advertisers and building owners, as well as its extensive reach, connecting advertisers with 5.6 million professionals in a captive environment each month.

September has been a busy month in the digital out-of-home space, especially on the personnel front. Earlier this month Zoom Media & Marketing named Tom Link senior executive vice president for sales and marketing; Link previously served as vice president of Life Time Fitness Media. Meanwhile Jeremy Male has been named CEO of CBS Outdoor Americas; he previously served as CEO of JCDecaux SA for the United Kingdom, Northern Europe and Australia. And Paul J. Meyer, who previously served as president and CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor’s Americas Division, joined JCDecaux as president of digital sign services, a newly created division of JCDecaux’s North American business.

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