Source: The Observer-Dispatch
UTICA - Last year, when it was announced that John Zogby had sold his controlling share of his polling company Zogby International to the Brazilian company IBOPE, it looked like the end of an era.
But Zogby, 63, again is a player in the world of polling and punditry.
He's now a senior adviser at JZ Analytics, a polling firm run by his son Jonathan. The Utica-based company has attracted top employees from the former Zogby International, as well as many of its clients, Zogby said Monday.
"We are getting new work and we are getting our work done," Zogby said. "Nothing would make me happier than for the new company to virorously grow."
At its peak, Zogby International employed about 250 in full and part-time positions at its Broad Street offices. Founded in 1984, the company did market research but also was known for its political polling.
In January 2010, when the deal was struck with IBOPE, Zogby retained 33 percent of shares in the company, which became known as IBOPE Zogby International. Another 16 percent were held by Prince Turki bin Khalid of Saudi Arabia, who had been a major shareholder since 2006.
Now, IBOPE owns the entire company. Zogby declined to say what he earned from the sale.
IBOPE company spokesman Dan DeVries said the company has no plans to leave Utica.
"I think this total acquisition highlights the commitment of the IBOPE Group to expanding and strengthening its position across the Americas, both in market research and polling," CEO Kjell de Orr said in a statement supplied by DeVries. "And the full ownership could not come at a better time, as the IBOPE Group celebrates 70 years in business this year."
In Latin America, IBOPE does television ratings and market research.
During the course of 2010, it became clear that John Zogby and IBOPE wanted to take the company in different directions, Zogby said.
By June 2011 discussions about a parting of the ways began, and in February of this year the relationship was over, he said.
Meanwhile, Zogby's son Jonathan had formed JZ Analytics and hired some key former Zogby International employees.
"We are a completely networked outfit," John Zogby said. "We have strong partnerships in Washington with companies that have done business with us for years and have moved over."
The company is doing polling on this year's presidential race for the Washington Times, John Zogby said.
JZ Analytics also is starting to do what John Zogby called "social media tracking," which is data mining related to the Internet and social media.
"There is so much data that's out there and in a very practical way someone has to be around to tell a client they have the capacity to cull through that," he said.
John Zogby said JZ Analytics staff all work from home but meet regularly at his home or in a public library. The company outsources its calls in the United States, he said.
Utica employment figures for IBOPE Zogby International were not immediately available, but DeVries said the company is actively hiring people for its phone bank.