Sixteen:Nine Has Been Acquired, But Sorry, I’m Still The Editor

September 14, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Sixteen:Nine is now an online publication and podcast owned by Spectrio, a customer engagement platform based in the Tampa, FL area, and one of the fast-rising companies in this industry.

The deal closed last week and we’re now doing the work to transition things.

Readers may be particularly excited about this because they may think, “Oh good, I like Sixteen:Nine, but that snarky old guy Dave will maybe go away.”

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Alas, no. Very little changes with this. I’m still the editor and primary writer. I’m still going to publish at the same kind of cadence. My point of view remains independent. And I will continue to be a smart-ass when it is warranted.

So why sell Sixteen:Nine?

The main reason is quite simple – my daughter is pregnant with her first child and she needed a good stroller. If you are a parent or grandparent, you know the good ones cost roughly the same as a BMW. So I had to find that money somewhere.

Also, it made sense on several fronts.

First, I’m going to be humming The Beatles tune “When I’m 64” come January. I genuinely enjoy what I do, but not so much that I want to do it until I drop. We’d like to travel. I’d like to stop staring outside from my office when the weather’s nice, and go outside without guilt. Plus … grandson!

Second, I have been thinking for some time that I had built up something pretty good with this – with almost 8,200 posts – and I really wasn’t in love with the idea of just typing in a last post one day, saying I’m done, and shutting it down. This gives me the opportunity to keep it going through new owners and supporters, and mentor some poor soul as my Mini Me. The goal is to eventually have someone in place who is capably doing what I do now.

Finally, and the big one, is that I saw the opportunity with Spectrio to both tap into its considerable resources and help raise the company’s profile and brand among the signage community and beyond. Backed by a private equity firm, Spectrio has been on a tear acquiring digital signage CMS software companies, and has very quietly – almost in stealth mode – built up a BIG footprint in the industry via acquisition and organic growth.

But I think it is fair to suggest there are some industry people reading this, who are asking, “Who is Spectrio?”

Their boilerplate description suggests there’s a LOT happening:

Spectrio is a leading provider of comprehensive digital signage solutions that empowers clients to transform their business locations into modern, dynamic destinations for customers and employees. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and founded in 2002, Spectrio serves over 150,000 franchise and enterprise locations in multiple industries, including quick-service restaurants, automotive, healthcare, and financial services. With supporting offerings geared towards Overhead Music, On-Hold Messaging, WiFi Marketing, and more, Spectrio offers businesses a complete customer engagement solution at scale.

Sixteen:Nine provides a nice way to help raise Spectrio’s awareness and offer the depth and breadth of content that it would be super-hard to build up on a more conventional company blog. I have had years of people telling me that Sixteen:Nine is their go-to, part of their routine and also their resource to get some context on things like announcements or big changes. One of the cool things has been hearing people tell me that reading or subscribing to Sixteen:Nine is part of their new employee on-boarding guidance.

I am still amazed something that I started in 2006 to scratch an opinion itch gradually turned into a thriving business that defined my later-stage career. But I’ve had to juggle a lot of other jobs – like consulting and ghostwriting – to make it really work. I can’t count the number of times companies have contacted me, and asked if I could have someone from my team get back to them. Then I’ve told them, “Well, I’m, the team. Whatcha need?”

So it’s going to be kind of awesome to have more resources available, and also have the luxury of focus.

This deal came pretty much out of the blue, and I am honored that smart people like Spectrio CEO Dax Brady-Sheehan saw what I’ve developed had real value to his company and team, and the larger industry. It’s been a fun ride producing Sixteen:Nine, and this gives me the opportunity to keep it going, even if I slip out the side door some day.

Here’s what Spectrio says in the official release …

Spectrio, one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive digital signage solutions, announced that it has acquired Sixteen:Nine, a digital signage blog produced by industry veteran, David Haynes. 

Sixteen:Nine has been covering the digital signage industry since 2006, and is well-known for Haynes’ unique take on news and analysis for an industry audience. Business owners and network managers also follow Sixteen:Nine for in-depth insight, recommendations, and other digital signage commentary.   

As Spectrio continues to expand its presence across more than 150,000 client locations, the acquisition will allow the Company to further develop innovative digital solutions for enterprise clients, while contributing to the growth and enrichment of the digital signage industry as a whole. Through the acquisition, Spectrio will also gain a holistic view of the digital signage landscape, including trends and opportunities that will benefit its clients. 

“As one of the largest digital signage providers in the U.S., we know the industry is perpetually growing and evolving. Spectrio is proud to support that growth by investing in innovation and the overall enrichment and improvement of the industry,” said Staisey Divorski, vice president of marketing at Spectrio. “The unique voice of David Haynes has always been at the leading edge in digital signage, and we are excited to bring his knowledge and expertise to the team so we can continue to propel the industry to new heights together.”

 

  1. Jeremy Gavin says:

    Congratulations Dave. You deserve it and so do your grandson. Having been a reader since I found this interesting industry, I’ll keep reading until that final post.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks Jeremy. Screenfeed has been a supporter for years and years and years. Hugely appreciated!

  2. Matthew Davies says:

    Congratulations from the team at Digital Signage Awards. We look forward to a great relationship continuing … stroller and all!

  3. Paul Kapustka says:

    Congrats Dave! There’s nothing like having resources and support. Here’s to more years of snark and excellent coverage!

  4. Marty McDonald says:

    Long time coming – glad we made this move! You’ve helped me a ton with your posts and insights!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks Marty. Learning my work has helped people in their work never gets old!

  5. Big Digtial Corp. says:

    Great news Dave and congrats! Nice to see all the hard work pay off. Stay snarky sir!

    1. Jeff Wismer says:

      Damn auto fill.

    2. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks. And too old to change!

  6. Hussain Ali says:

    Congrats Dave! 16:9 has my go to industry news for years and hope the same continues. Goodluck and best wishes.
    How would handle your advertisers now that your parent company is competing in the platform space?

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks. I think the oft-used phrase about “A rising tide lifts all boats” applies here.

  7. Carre Bistline says:

    Dave, you’ve been the straight-shooter voice our industry needed to cut through the PR hype and highlight the successes out there. Enjoy the next chapter and congratulations on becoming a grandpa!

  8. Michael Arnett says:

    Congrats, Dave!!!! So well-deserved. Great to hear that you’ll be sticking around for a while yet, snark and all.
    Eventually that costly stroller will give way to things like heavily-licensed Lego. When those days come, trust me, keep your shoes on.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      We have a Rubbermaid tub filled to the brim with Lego that’s been untouched for 20+ years, and yeah, I have the permanent marks on my feet.

  9. craig Allen keefner says:

    Congrats. I’m guessing a 2 year “stick around” clause. Regularly check your blood pressure.

  10. david galos says:

    Wow, congratulations! That’s some exciting news for you!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      It is indeed, thanks Dave

  11. Stavros says:

    Congrats Dave!

  12. Miguel Fonseca says:

    All great reasons ! If i was on your shoes i would take the same decision. Well done to you and to all the team members 🙂

  13. Jason Cremins says:

    Big news! Well done, Dave, there is immense value in what you have created and continue to create with 16:9 and I am sure it will be a great success for you and the team at Spectrio.

  14. Paul Miller says:

    Hearty congrats Dave – sounds like a true “win-win” all around!

  15. John Hu says:

    Congrats Dave, 16:9 has been a great resource over the years!

  16. Jane Boyce says:

    Congrats! You have a truly authentic voice and opinion and I am sure this move will be successful for all.

  17. Paul Fleuranges says:

    Nice win there Dave!

  18. Beth Warren says:

    Congratulations Dave – thrilled for your next chapter as Grandpa and a well-earned sale. Thank you for continuing to enrich us, while keeping it real. All our best, Beth & CRI

  19. Brandy Alvarado-Miranda says:

    Congratulations Dave! Read this today and cracked up laughing and was thrilled for you all at the same time. I love that you’ll still be around for awhile longer to keep it real and honest. High five on striking a great deal.

  20. Rein Taul says:

    Congrats Dave!

    You’ve been around long enough to have head the statements like “business as usual” “no changes to workforce” that follow every acquisition. Watch out for the hatchets in the accounting department!

    Just kidding. You are the brand, but I hope this brings you a well deserved payout as you transition to babysitting.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      It’s been so long since I have been around babies I barely know which end is up, though I am sure I will find out!

  21. Pat Stimpson says:

    Excellent. Good for them great for you. 16:9 has kept me in the know as I converted to a full time grandpa and beyond. Glad to know that your wit and brains will continue to keep us all informed. Congrats
    Pat

  22. Mark Bennett says:

    Congrat’s Dave! Strollers are expensive! Well done.

  23. Bharat Motwani says:

    Congratulations Dave, your site is a great resource.

  24. Christophe Justeau says:

    Bravo Dave! This is a great recognition of the unique value of what you have built. Very happy for you.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thank you Christophe

  25. Marc Amstoutz says:

    Congrat’s Dave! What you’ve done for this industry is huge, by sharing everyday what’s moving, coming and changing, you inspired so many people around the globe. Well done!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thank you Marc, very kind of you to say …

  26. Matt Downey says:

    Dave, I can’t think of a better reason and scenario for you. Congrats on all fronts…most importantly realizing that life is good and you need to take time to enjoy it and your family. Glad we will continue to be able to enjoy your smartassedness, wit and knowledge. I look forward to seeing what lies ahead for 16:9!

  27. Benoit Johnson says:

    Congrats Dave,
    Well deserved 😉

  28. Jeremiah J Butrum says:

    You have made a difference in my understanding of the digital signage industry and a consistent source of information since 2012. Congratulations and thank you

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Always enjoy reading that sort of thing. Thank you.

  29. Mary Peterson says:

    Congratulations Dave! Glad you’re not leaving but happy for you that you will be able to hang with the grandbaby and enjoy life a little more! Mary

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks Mary, hope to see you and the rest of the Samsung Canada team at some point!

  30. Max Stevens-Guille says:

    That’s fantastic Dave. Great to hear about developments on both the family and professional fronts. And good for Spectrio; they now have one of the smarter (and nicer) guys in the industry helping to track developments from across the globe.

  31. Peter Critchley says:

    Sounds like your buying the drinks (and dinner) next time you’re in London! Seriously though, congratulations. You deserve this.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Well between the baby stroller and dinner with you guys, I’ll need that Walmart greeter job after all.

  32. Robert Heise says:

    Well done Dave!!

  33. Jason Ault says:

    Congrats, Dave! Well deserved!

  34. Jim Marascio says:

    Congratulations, Dave! Well earned and deserved. Like so many others, Sixteen:Nine has been my go to for years.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Always good to read that people find value in the posts!

  35. Jack Boyczuk says:

    I hope you find, like I did, that you’re new role as Grandpa, is the best role of all. Oh, and congrats on the business thing.

  36. Stephen Allen says:

    Congratulations Dave! Great that you’ve secured a future for Sixteen:Nine and a stroller for your grandson.

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