CC Media Holdings, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., today announced that Robert W. Pittman, former Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks and AOL Networks and former Chief Operating Officer of America Online and AOL Time Warner, has made a personal equity investment in the Company and will serve as its Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms.
Clear Channel Radio, led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, John Hogan, will report to the Operating Committee of the Board through Pittman, reflecting the long term strategic importance of the core radio business to the Company, and the Company's focus on further development and execution of opportunities in the digital arena.
"With his background in music, radio and entertainment and track record of success in both traditional and digital media, Bob Pittman will be a terrific ally and contributor to Clear Channel in this new role," said Mark Mays, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"His experience and understanding of the broad spectrum of media, Internet and mobile will be a real asset to our executive team in continuing to build Clear Channel's core business. Bob will partner with John Hogan both to help set strategic direction for radio and drive the effort to expand our opportunities in the digital arena as well as amplify our outreach to major advertising and marketing partners. This development underscores and is expected to accelerate the transformation of our radio business into an integrated media and entertainment enterprise that leverages all of Clear Channel's powerful properties."
"Both as a former operating executive and an investor, this is a dream addition to my portfolio," said Pittman, whose first job was as a radio announcer at age 15.
"The Clear Channel radio stations, with 97 million weekly listeners and high quality programming, provide an ideal foundation for growing the core radio business, and expanding those brands and that audience into new services and onto new devices. With a platform this broad and this deep, we have the ability to experiment in ways other companies can't.
"Clear Channel's unique combination of national audience and powerful local execution enables us to promote new products and features to our audience quickly and on a mass level," added Pittman.
"This offers a real opportunity to enhance the experience for consumers, provide powerful marketing opportunities for advertising partners, and develop new, high growth digital businesses for the Company that build on the 12 million unique monthly visitors we already reach online today. I'm looking forward to working closely with the Board and John Hogan and the entire leadership team to help maximize the potential of the outstanding businesses they have built and grown."
Pittman began his career programming successful radio stations in Pittsburgh, Chicago and finally at WNBC, the NBC Radio flagship station, in New York City. He was the programmer who led the team that created MTV, and in addition to having served as Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks and AOL Networks and Chief Operating Officer of America Online and AOL Time Warner, he has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags Theme Parks, Time Warner Enterprises and Century 21 Real Estate. His honors include being inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and receiving the International Radio and Television Society's Gold Medal award.
John Hogan's eMail to the CC troops
Bob brings to us unprecedented experience, credibility, and vision in the media and entertainment world. His collaboration with Clear Channel Radio in this role is a powerful validation that we have a tremendously bright future and that CCR is going to emerge as a media and entertainment force. For me personally, Bob will help me grow and develop as your CEO and will be an unparalleled resource for me to call on.
I’ve sat down with Bob over the course of several meetings, and I can tell you he is very excited about Clear Channel and what we have done with our business. He is the ideal person to assume this role and to work with us as we continue to build and execute a comprehensive strategy to realize the full power and potential of the CCR on-air, on-line, on-site platforms. I am confident that together we will effectively leverage Bob's exceptional background in the music and entertainment arena, and the incredible platform we’ve built at CCR, and that our go-forward strategy will build upon the remarkable transformation in radio programming quality and sales effectiveness we have achieved.
I also want you to know this move will not change our organizational structure, or how we function as a team. I will continue to lead the radio group with our leadership team. However, we will now report directly to the newly formed Operating Committee of the Board of Directors, through Bob, who will be the Board’s designated point person to work with CCR.
I hope you are as excited as I am about what Bob Pittman brings to us and the affirmation of the central role the radio business plays in our Company. Today marks a new chapter for Clear Channel Radio and again, I could not be more positive about it and trust you will be as well. I have shared with Bob what a terrific team we have, and he knows about the hard work and dedication each and every one of you has contributed to build Clear Channel into the leader it is today.
I look forward to working with Bob and hope you’ll join me in welcoming him to Clear Channel Radio.
Onward and upward!
Tom's Take: Hogan is being a good trooper here, but Pittman seems to be the future.