The long-vacant CEO seat at CC Media Holdings has been filled – and in the end the directors didn’t have to look outside the company to find the new leader. The new CEO is veteran media executive/entrepreneur Bob Pittman, who has been Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms at Clear Channel Communications since last November.
CC Media holdings had been run by an “Office of the Chief Executive Officer” since Mark Mays exited the end of March, consisting of CFO Tom Casey and General Counsel Robert Walls Jr. Mays continues to be Chairman of the Board of Directors. Clear Channel Outdoor Americas is headed by CEO Ron Cooper and Clear Channel Outdoor International by CEO William Eccleshare. Everything else was already under Pittman, with John Hogan as CEO of Clear Channel Radio.
With his elevation, Pittman will join the board of directors at CC Media Holdings, Clear Channel Communications and Clear Channel Outdoor. He will continue as a member of Pilot Group, the private investment group which he founded. Pilot recently agreed to sell its only radio investment, Double-O Radio. It continues to be the primary owner of Barrington Broadcasting, a TV group owner.
As CEO of CC Media Holdings, Pittman will oversee Clear Channel Radio’s 850 owned radio stations; Premier Radio Networks, which syndicates programming to over 4,000 stations; Clear Channel Digital, which develops and operates iHeartRadio; Total Traffic Network; Katz Media Group; RCS; and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, both the Americas and International divisions.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to express how delighted I am that Bob has accepted this position,” said Mark Mays, Chairman of CC Media Holdings. “He has been an invaluable contributor to Clear Channel Radio since last November, and he is the perfect person to take Clear Channel to the next level. I look forward to his leadership of our company.”
“Bob Pittman brings a long history as a brilliant innovator and brand builder – from his days as a very successful radio programmer, creator of MTV and CEO of MTV Networks to his work helping to drive the phenomenal growth of AOL and his successful investments in other digital, media and technology companies. He has already generated a renewed sense of confidence and direction not only at Clear Channel, but across the entire radio and media landscape,” said Scott Sperling, Co-President of THL Partners, one of the private equity owners of CC Media Holdings.
“I’m thrilled we were able recruit Bob into the CEO role at Clear Channel. He is the perfect fit to lead this incredibly powerful media platform. He embraces creativity, and has given employees the motivation and freedom to innovate, take risks and succeed. He thinks big, is not afraid of change and is intensely focused on driving new businesses, expanding our creative talent and maximizing the full value of Clear Channel’s extraordinary assets, ideas and people,” said John Connaughton, Managing Director of Bain Capital, the other major private equity investor.
“Over the past year, I’ve had the unique opportunity to look at the Clear Channel people and assets up close and have found myself increasingly drawn to the company, to the point where the chance to get even more deeply involved has just become irresistible,” said Pittman. “I know first-hand that we have great people and the assets that allow them to do great things. We are so much more than just transmitters and broadcast towers – we leverage our local brands, personalities, strategic relationships and programming expertise to create unique experiences that forge real connections with consumers across our multiple platforms.”
RBR-TVBR has written extensively about Bob Pittman.
Photo: Bob Pittman (center) with radio/TV personality Ryan Seacrest (l) and Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan (r) at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas
RBR-TVBR observation: Not really a surprise, but what took them so long? Pittman had already been recruited to drive Clear Channel’s growth in the digital realm and was overseeing everything except the billboard operations. He also has plenty of experience dealing with Wall Street, so who could be any better for the job?
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