bill collinsTravers Collins, an upstate New York PR and advertising institution, has sold to the Martin Group after a 19-year run.

Both agencies are based in Buffalo. TMG was founded in 2001 by Travers Collins alum Tod Martin, who is president and chief creative officer.

"He's done well and now we couldn't think of a better person or a better agency to hand off our business," TC co-founder Bill Collins said of Martin. Collins will stay on as an advisor through a transition period.

TC's five-member PR staff is the focus of the deal and other employees in the digital and ad ranks will be considered based on TMG needs, TMG said. Key staff moving over include executive VPs of PR Dick Shaner Jr. and Susan Asquith.

Collins, the PR brains behind TC, and adman Robert Travers founded TC in 1995. Travers retired earlier this year.

TC clients include Catholic Charities, Seneca Nation of Indians and Independent Health, among others. The firm suffered a blow in 2011 when two key staffers in its investor relations unit split to set up their own shop. The Buffalo News reported TC laid off six staffers in January due to client cutbacks, as well.

TMG's roster includes or the Buffalo Bills and Seneca Gaming Corp.