April 24, 2017 at 12:35 am #2333
iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman’s Efforts May Not Be Enough to Avoid Looming Bankruptcy
Not long after his tenure as CEO of iHeartMedia began in 2011, Bob Pittman ordered a complete re-imagination of the New York headquarters. He hired a designer he met at counterculture event Burning Man who brought in architects, acoustical engineers, and lighting consultants.
Soon after the move, Pittman called an all-hands staff meeting. According to a company insider, staffers were given brochures on how to keep the office looking sleek and new. Employees were not to eat at their desks, nor were they allowed to have plants or display family photos.
The instructions met with some eye-rolling, but the emphasis on appearance was typical for Pittman, a marketing genius hired to bring a “new media” makeover to the nation’s largest radio conglomerate. Under Pittman’s leadership, the company changed its name from Clear Channel — an outdated reference to a collection of AM radio frequencies — to iHeartMedia, a name derived from the company’s smartphone app. He also poured resources into concerts and the streaming business.
At the same time, Pittman was facing the massive burden of $20.5 billion in debt, the product of a private equity takeover in 2008. The hope was that by transforming iHeartMedia into a multiplatform digital brand, Pittman could lead the company out of its financial wilderness.
“You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene KranzApril 24, 2017 at 5:31 am #9835
Ugh. Clear Channel. Homogenizing all radio into focus-grouped music selections. Buying up most local channels to turn them into easy-listening crap, something to have on in the background but never actually listen to. Screw ’em. They deserve what they got. And maybe the government can toss out the deregulation that caused companies like them to go on a murder spree of buying up stations nationwide, changing their formats, and dumbing them down. Maybe we’ll have some decent radio to listen to again.
I haven’t listened to the radio in years. In my old car I did rarely listen (NPR was about all I’d bother with) but once I had Sirius XM in my newest car I never bothered with local radio again. Mainly because all my favorite local stations were bought out and turned into easy listening or top-40 style radio, which I detest. After a while, they must have sold off one of their local stations because The Eagle 97.1 – KEGL came back to the local airwaves, a great rock station I grew up on but was bought out and constantly retooled by Clear Channel – it was “Sunny 97.1”, an easy listening channel for maybe a year, then a Spanish radio station for a few years (you can still find little promo bumper stickers from this era on cars all over Dallas) and who knows what else after that. Clear Channel/iHeartRadio takes everything that’s gold and turns it into lead. They have earned their grave, it’s now time for them to die in it.April 24, 2017 at 7:00 am #9836
You forgot one thing….. setting up their advertising and music schedule so that a national advertiser could play the same ad on multiple stations at the exact same time. It’s easy… when it’s sat-o-lite delivered.
Looking at the Sacramento Radio Spectrum, there are no stations that appeal to my beyond the NPR Classic Music station. Even with that one, I record the audio stream (something that I want to get back to). I do pay for SiriusXM in my car, but I can live without it (every year, I threaten to cancel), and the whole reason why I required Bluetooth was to listen to music and audiobook files from my phone.
“You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene KranzApril 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm #9837
Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
@Steve W wrote:
And maybe the government can toss out the deregulation that caused companies like them to go on a murder spree of buying up stations nationwide, changing their formats, and dumbing them down.
I vote SteveW for head of the FCC.
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