Cosmos Broadcasting Buys Super Coups Franchisee

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Cosmos Broadcasting, a regional broadcasting company with network and cable interests in several Southeastern and Midwestern markets, yesterday said it has acquired Super Coups of Augusta, GA, and plans to expand the co-op mail franchise into several additional markets. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


The purchase and the planned expansion will make Cosmos, which is a subsidiary of The Liberty Corp., Greenville, SC, the second-largest Super Coups franchisee.


"What they want to do is have a direct mail component and an Internet strategy for their sales staff," said Don McKenzie, president/CEO of Super Coups, which also has an alliance with online coupon-provider coolsavings.com.


Cosmos purchased four existing markets in Augusta and Athens, GA; Columbia, SC; and Memphis, TN. The company also agreed to acquire the rights to nine other markets from Super Coups and to open 10 additional markets during the next two years. Blaine Bailey and Rick Donaldson, the current owners of Super Coups of Augusta, will remain with the company to manage Cosmos Broadcasting's new Super Coups USA division.


The agreement should bring additional revenues to Super Coups parent Advo Inc., Windsor, CT, a provider of freestanding newspaper inserts, and should provide Cosmos with additional advertising vehicles to offer its clients.


"In newspaper, TV and radio, it's important to go in armed with a lot of different marketing solutions," McKenzie said. Many of Cosmos Broadcasting's TV holdings are in markets into which the company will expand as a Super Coups franchisee, allowing it to leverage its existing relationships with advertisers into the new medium.


In addition to the Cosmos acquisition, Super Coups recently sold a franchise to a newspaper group in Southern California and is in talks to sell addition franchises to others newspapers and to radio stations.


"Each of these media companies is looking for additional reach in terms of direct mail and an Internet program," McKenzie said.


Super Coups sells franchise units of 50,000 homes each to operators around the country, who sell advertising for the company's cooperative mail program. The franchisees pay Super Coups an initial $32,000 franchise fee, plus additional royalties of $148 per 10,000 homes mailed. Franchisees also purchase printing and mailing services from Super Coups.


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