Pennsylvania public TV station takes over commercial video firm

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WLVT in Bethlehem, Pa., is anticipating that its acquisition of a local commercial video-production firm will help it grow revenue.

No cash was exchanged in the deal, station CEO Tim Fallon said in an interview.

The station, branded as PBS39, now employs the six staffers from ASR Media Productions for a total of 38 full-time employees. The deal was announced May 12.

WLVT has worked with ASR on several programs, including the nationally distributed how-to series Roey’s Paintbox — Art is for Everyone.

“We no longer need to outsource work to ASR,” Fallon said. “We’ve integrated them into the nonprofit.”

Fallon said the move also “gives us access to commercial video work we haven’t been able to break into. ASR is very successful in that area.” ASR’s clients include St. Luke’s University Health Network, United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, the Catholic Diocese of Allentown and Air Products, an industrial gas and equipment supplier.

“This is one way for public media to develop alternative revenue streams,” Fallon said. He cited similar work such as Axxess Video, the commercial production unit at WCNY in Syracuse, N.Y., that produces commercials, corporate videos and other content.

Fallon declined to comment on how much revenue may be generated or whether WLVT’s expenses would grow with the additional production work.

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