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LCT Introduces New Executives Who Outline Future Plans

Martin Romjue
Posted on March 27, 2019

Bill Faeth interviews Ty Bobit, Sherb Brown, and Rich Rivera on Monday, March 25, 2019 at the opening of the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. (LCT photo)

Bill Faeth interviews Ty Bobit, Sherb Brown, and Rich Rivera on Monday, March 25, 2019 at the opening of the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. (LCT photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- The luxury ground transportation industry got a first live look March 25 at the future of LCT Magazine four months after its parent company Bobit Business Media was sold to a private equity firm, and just days after the National Limousine Association abruptly dissolved its longstanding partnership with LCT and BBM.

The bottom line message: We're here, we're growing, and we are committed.

Bobit Business Media CEO Rich Rivera and President and Chief Revenue Officer Sherb Brown joined a panel discussion with former CEO Ty Bobit during the official opening of the International LCT Show under the theme "Dream Big." They were questioned by Bill Faeth, a luxury transportation industry marketer, educator, and consultant who runs Limo University.

BBM was sold to Gemspring Capital, a Westport, Conn.-based private equity firm on Nov. 16, 2018 after Ty Bobit and family members decided to secure their financial futures, as Bobit explained moments before. 

Ty Bobit, who has the title of Chairman Emeritus, serves on the newly formed BBM board of directors, and his two sons continue to work in the company.

Seeking to squelch rumors that arose in the wake of the NLA's decision, Brown said, "We are not going out of business and we are not going away.

"You'll have to pry LCT out of our cold dead hands," said Brown, who has served in multiple sales and leadership roles at the company since 1994.  He called it a "cherished legacy" that will continue.

The executives sought to reassure industry attendees and members LCT will not only proceed with business as usual, but seek to expand its reach and trade show and digital media portfolio. 

When Faeth asked Rivera why Gemspring sought out LCT and BBM, Rivera replied the private equity firm was attracted to a successful media company dominant in the fleet transportation space.

The acquisition "ties in with the assets and the blending of markets that are the focus on our investments," Rivera said. "We are investing in the business and in the LCT shows."

Rivera has 36 years of experience in B2B media with 25 of those years in the transportation sector. He was born and raised in Coney Island, N.Y., and began his career in publishing and media the same year the first LCT show launched in 1984. He most recently served in financial and media executive roles at media companies.

"The private equity firm supports growth by infusing capital into the right strategic areas," Rivera said. "We are not slashing employees. We are investing in the industry to help businesses succeed." Gemspring is capitalized at $350 million.

Rivera, whose daughters and wife run a salon/spa in New York, told attendees LCT would like to focus on bringing more small fleet operations into the industry and inviting them to LCT shows.

Bobit Business Media employs 170 people and produces 23 B2B magazines, 20 in-person events, and 42 branded websites that meet specific market needs for knowledge, news, and networking. Some of its print titles and events include Automotive Fleet, Heavy Duty Trucking, Modern Salon, the International Luxury Coach & Transportation Show, Government Fleet Expo, and Global Fleet Conference. Its headquarters occupy 50,000 square feet in Torrance, Calif., and it has 30 regional offices nationwide.

Brown also addressed the separation of LCT and the National Limousine Association, saying the company is "leaving the door open" to work with the NLA in the future. BBM works with 15 other trade associations in other industry sectors. In four of the five past situations where a group chose to leave BBM, four returned and reconnected with BBM. A fifth became defunct, but was later revived by BBM.

Related Topics: Bobit Business Media, industry media, LCT Magazine, state of industry

Martin Romjue Editor
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