Livewire 'Ascents' to New Name


Liberty Livewire, the video- and audio-production, distribution and post-production conglomerate that comprises more than 50 facilities across the globe, is looking for even greater recognition. It is rebranding itself as Ascent Media in an effort to make it easier for industry professionals to get a sense of the company's size and offerings.

Among the facilities under Ascent Media's umbrella are Todd-AO, Group W and 4MC. With nearly 6,000 clients, it's a fairly safe bet that every company in the industry does at least some work, at some point, with an Ascent Media asset during the year.

Liberty Media is the parent company, owning 90.2% of Ascent; most recently, it injected $17.3 million in financing into the company last month. Liberty Livewire aggressively acquired a number of companies in 2000 and 2001, including Todd-AO and 4MC.

"It's time for us to advance the notion of what we have in the way of opportunities with the assets we have," says Ascent Media CEO Bill Fitzgerald. "Liberty Livewire was a very effective vehicle for aggregating as many assets as we have within the organization. But, with the rollups completed, we think it's time to focus on the business operations and an integrated-services platform that is as unique as anything out there in the media-services space."

The goal now is to make sure that the 50-plus individual pieces understand how they fit into the broader game plan of Ascent Media.

"The Liberty Livewire banner never really represented any of those businesses on an individual basis, and what we want to do is create a catalyst that can allow us to message to clients and even our own employees that we have something different here today with end-to-end [production, post-production and distribution] capabilities."