Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2011 (Revised July 2012)

National Public Broadcasting

by Richard S. Ruback and Royce Yudkoff


Bob Williams, the CEO of National Public Broadcasting (NPB), was considering an unsolicited offer to purchase the company in the early spring of 2006. The company was a media underwriting representative for public television and radio stations throughout the United States. When Mr. Williams and his wife Linda Williams started NPB in 1996, they had imagined that it would grow quickly and be acquired by a larger media representation firm in a few years. But the business proved to be more complex than they had anticipated with slower growth and less interest from strategic acquirers and, as a result, Mr. Williams had been running NPB ever since. The unsolicited offer gave the Williams and their partners the potential opportunity to realize a significant cash payment for the business. The case explores the impact on the sale of the ownership structure decisions that were made when NPB was formed and the complexity of the sales process for small businesses.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Decision Choices and Conditions; Financial Management; Ownership; Advertising Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;


Ruback, Richard S., and Royce Yudkoff. "National Public Broadcasting." Harvard Business School Case 211-058, January 2011. (Revised July 2012.)