Bext, a San Diego-based supplier and service provider of FM Antennas, RF Combiners, RF filters, FM Transmitters and many things RF, recently bought RF Specialties of California and moved their employees to their Tenth Avenue facility downtown. Steve Moreen, the past owner of RF Specialties of California and Program Chair of SBE Chapter 36, last year began a sales position for Dielectric, the antenna manufacturer busy with TV channel repacking orders.
I asked Bext owner and general nice guy Dennis Pieri about the sale.
GS: Is RF Specialties like a franchise, where you have to pay the RF Specialties founder a piece of the income?
DP: The RF Specialties Group is generally perceived as a franchise but it is really not. It is only an alliance of independent resellers, all individually owned. There isn’t a central authority in charge. There are just various agreements that the persons who are part of the group have committed to honor. There is one person in the group, Bill Newbrough, who is generally regarded as the most veteran and experienced, so he is the de facto point-of-reference when it comes to coordinating things among the various individuals.
You’re running the business out of the 10th Avenue facility now and have closed the Mission Valley office?
Exactly right. We moved everything that was in Mission Valley and it is all in the building on Tenth Avenue now. As you may remember, the upstairs is pretty large and we accommodated everything there that was in the Mission Valley office. But to do so we had to push away several of the rack cabinets which were just parked upstairs, and now we need to get rid of those.
Any change of product line-ups? RF Specialties sells Nautel. Would that present a conflict with the Bext-branded line of transmitters?
No intention to mess with something that works, and RF Specialties of California works very well. No plans for changes at least for the foreseeable future. RF Specialties will gladly continue to sell Nautel. It always sold both brands. Nautel to customers who want Nautel, and Bext to customers who want Bext. They are not really competing lines anyway. What Nautel offers, like for example HD radio, Bext does not offer. And some of what Bext offers, like power levels of 30, 50, 100, and 150 W, Nautel does not offer. So rather than competing, they really are more like complementary lines.
Any changes in personnel? You have Nigel Worrall and Jeff Motta, now, as I recall.
I retained everyone. The only exception is, of course, Steve, but that’s because he made the decision himself to move on and he’s now with Dielectric. If it was up to me, I would have gladly retained him too. But he occasionally still steps in to help us for advice on some specific projects when needed. And he knows that if at any time he were to not stay with Dielectric, he would be warmly welcome back, full or part-time.
Any plans for the future that you want to discuss?
Having just acquired RF Specialties of California a month ago I have my hands still full with many of the obligations related to the change of ownership, while still managing Bext, so I haven’t even had time to fully think of possible future plans. In general, the RF Specialties business model works well as is, so certainly nothing revolutionary. One thing that will be necessary to address is, of course, the clearly outdated website of the group.
Dennis also mentioned that he has several matching equipment racks he’d like to pass along to someone needing them, at a substantial discount, of course. They have a wide variety of sizes, some with and some without doors. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-685-3918.