CBS Radio creates Director/Music Initiatives role

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CBS RadioLooks like CBS may be heading down the Clear Channel path in making deals with labels: The company named Chad Fitzsimmons to the newly created position of Director/Music Initiatives effective immediately.  Working with its nearly 85 major market music radio stations, digital assets (including Radio.com) and O&O TV stations across the country, Fitzsimmons will develop and launch a variety of partnership opportunities for record labels to promote today’s most popular artists and up-and-coming musicians to millions of music fans across the country.  In addition, he will create exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences that allow listeners to engage directly with their favorite artists.


Fitzsimmons will report to Greg Strassell, SVP/Programming, while also working closely with the entire senior programming leadership team, and Helen Leisengang, Vice President, Integrated Marketing and Special Events.  He’ll be based in Los Angeles.

“We’re delighted to name Chad to this exciting new position which will maximize exposure for artists on our stations, and elevate our ability to execute larger than life programs across the full spectrum of our portfolio,” said Strassell.  “Chad has worked on some of the most highly regarded music events, including CBS Radio’s pre-Grammy concert held at the famed Grammy Museum, and was instrumental in creating the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ and AMP Radio in Los Angeles.  He knows what it takes to drive the best results for an artist using the powerful platform of radio.”

So far, Clear Channel label/content partners include Robbins Entertainment, Big Machine Label Group, rpm entertainment, Glassnote Entertainment Group, Naxos, DashGo and Robbins Entertainment. Entercom has struck deals with Big Machine and Glassnote; and Beasley with Big Machine. And the hits just keep on comin’!

CBS Radio spokesperson Karen Mateo tells RBR-TVBR: “In this new role, Chad will be responsible for creating new ways to showcase artists using our radio stations and digital assets through a variety of programming initiatives, special events and once in a lifetime experiences with the audience.  We look forward to developing content that exposes listeners to another side of the some of the biggest names in the industry, and those on the verge of breaking nationally.”

RBR-TVBR observation:  We hope this leads to another big group signing direct deals with the labels. If so, it would help both CBS Radio and the labels by doing two things: Providing actual benefit to both participants, and more importantly, fending off the move to legislate the issue of airplay royalties on Capitol Hill. Most of these deals, i.e., the recent one with Beasley and Big Machine, involve both airplay royalties and internet rates. The latter keeps SoundExchange out of the mix of these partnerships.