By Adam Jacobson – Radio TV Business Report
Ralph Guild, who created what is largely considered the standard operating structure for television and radio ad representation companies, has died.
Guild, the founder of Interep, passed away on Monday in Palm Beach, Fla.
He was 93 years of age.
Guild is widely remembered across the broadcast media industry for his launch of Interep Radio in 1981, with the goal of offering the communications and marketing expertise he believed radio stations would come to expect from their representatives.
Created as a holding company, Interep brought independent rep firms together under a single corporate umbrella and grew to over $1 billion in sales. In 1986, under Guild’s stewardship, Interep launched Group W Radio Sales, which ultimately became CBS Radio Sales. Other dedicated rep companies created by Interep included ABC Radio Sales.
In 1988, the company became the Interep Radio Store, presenting the organization’s vision of a company that would be a single source for radio advertising and marketing support services. In the early 1990s, Interep implemented “Radio 2000,” a new business development program designed to increase the medium’s share of total advertising dollars, and in the late 1990s formed Interep Interactive, an online advertising and streaming media division.
At the start of the 21st century, Interep was the largest sales and marketing company dedicated solely to radio advertising.
Guild began his radio representation career in 1957 as a young executive at McGavren Radio—a San Francisco-based firm devoted to representing radio advertising. The company sent him to New York to open their first east coast office, and by 1967 McGavren Radio had become McGavren Guild. In 1973, Guild had become the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, and later its Chairman.
A recipient of numerous industry awards, Guild in 1998 he received the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters Foundation for outstanding contributions to the radio industry. That same year he was inducted into the Radio Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of the 1999 UJA-Federation’s Radio Group Award for his achievements in radio. In 2000 Howard University honored Guild for his support of its Communications Graduates and for his pioneering work in creating diversity in the national rep industry. In addition, the Black Broadcasters Alliance selected Guild as its 2001 Golden Mike Award honoree for his efforts in supporting African Americans in attaining their career goals and financial success. Most recently he received one of the broadcasting industry’s highest honors from the International Radio and Television Society The 2001 Gold Medal.
Guild is survived by his children, Gale, Lynn, Sharon, and Adam, his 16 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his son, Marc Guild, who passed away in February 2020. Marc Guild was highly active in the 2010 battle between Interep and its Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, who sued the company’s former directors in an attempt to give millions of dollars to Interep creditors. By September 2011, the trustee settled with the Guilds, who retained a high level of respect across the broadcast media industry, just as they did prior to Interep’s demise.
Among those who served under the Guild family at Interep is RAB President/CEO Erica Farber, who earlier in her career was the EVP/Radio Development Director at Interep.
Courtesy of Radio TV Business Report