What’s Next For Stanton?
After our original story about Bryan Pistone resigning from Stanton debuted, several other people close to the matter have contacted us to lend their thoughts on the fallout. Many of our earlier observations have been confirmed, which unfortunately does not bode well for the company in the near future.
According to our sources, Bryan Pistone was the heart and soul of Stanton’s Sales Team. Unlike Hetrick, who worked out of his home in Austin, Pistone was the man on the front lines doing the real work out of Stanton’s offices. One particular source labeled Hetrick as “brash, loud” and someone “who was good at buying drinks, telling stale jokes and power point presentations,” as well as humoring the distributors, but was no where as valuable as Pistone in the organization.
Pistone was a dedicated team player with “real technical expertise” who reportedly worked 12 hour days to keep the “wheels on the bus.” After Mezzanine, now ML Capital, rolled up KRK, Stanton Magnetics and Cerwin-Vega (after selling off the car audio division), they fired Stanton’s National Sales Manager and dumped his duties on Pistone, who shouldered the additional responsibilities without an increase in pay.
With all the missteps we often wondered how Tim Dorwart was able to keep his position as CEO. “Considering all his misguided adventures, why Tim is still leading Stanton is a mystery to me,” stated one source. Dorwart, known for “analysis paralysis” within the organization, “knows how to make things look good on paper” at the “expense of long term health.” One individual even speculated that “maybe Stanton is a good write off for Mezzanine.” ML Capital, formally Mezzanine, declined comment.
Other details emerged on the development of Stanton’s SCS “System” DJ controller product lines. The SCS.1, which was announced with great fanfare, never delivered on its promise and was mired down when the company fired the first development team and had to hire another to pick up the pieces. In addition, the development of the motorized platter set the company back almost a year when the first concept failed to live up to its promise.
The System 3, or “Da Scratch” as the company called it, was an innovative deck controller that bottomed out when Stanton failed to realize that the deck needed the mixer element (and a sound card) to create a true portable DJ ecosystem. Realizing the error too late, Stanton never recovered from the fumble and the System 3 ended up getting lost in the mix when more powerful and complete DJ controllers emerged.
With not much revenue pouring in at the moment, the loss of Pistone and Hetrick, and not much to cheer about, what’s next?
The Future: ML Capital could sell off Stanton to a Chinese concern who would certainly benefit from the brand collateral (Like Commodore… —Ed.), and see if Peavey is interested in the Cerwin marquee in order to focus on KRK, which is basically keeping the “group” afloat. However, if ML intends to right this capsized ship, then they need to focus on acquiring quality personnel, both sales and technical, and putting real money into R&D. Otherwise, they’re going to continue to disappoint their distributors, their retailers and most importantly their customers.