CC Radio unveils National Programming Platforms Team


On the heels of hundreds of layoffs (10/26), Clear Channel Radio is shedding some light on its new strategy for regional market stations that will “improve local programming in smaller markets by using assets and resources in those markets that their competitors don’t have.”

CC says the new National Programming Platforms division will deliver “unparalleled on-air, digital and live event content across Clear Channel’s multiple platforms.”

The team includes Dennis Clark, VP/Talent Development; Guy Zapoleon, VP/Digital Music Programming; Zena Burns, VP/Digital Programming Platforms; Darren Pfeffer, VP/Music & Entertainment Marketing and Alissa Pollack, EVP/Integrated Music Marketing.  All positions are effective immediately. 

Tom Poleman, who was recently appointed President of National Programming Platforms, leads the division, which focuses on developing on-air and digital programming content as well as live events for Clear Channel’s 850 stations.

National Programming Platforms also encompasses CC’s Programming Operations Center and its Premium Choice network, which imports and exports programming from region to region, market to market and station to station.  These efforts are led by Darren Davis, SVP/GM of National Programming Platforms. 

Zapoleon from Zapoleon Media will contribute to the programming of the New iHeartRadio with a major focus on the product’s more than 80 digital-only stations and will collaborate with the Clear Channel Digital team to combine the company’s custom radio algorithm with the expertise of its radio programmers.  Zapoleon SVP Mark St. John will be taking over the operation of the consulting firm.

Clark will oversee talent development, working directly with key personalities, while creating a company-wide strategy to develop future talent. He’s currently  Executive Producer for the “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” morning show, which in 2008 became a nationally syndicated daily radio show. 

Zena Burns will oversee national digital programming content and social content integration, including editorial, artist interviews, syndicated features, artist integration programs and exclusive iHeartRadio Music Festival content.  Since 2006, Burns has served Clear Channel Radio New York as the Online Program Director, where she was responsible for content, social and digital development for Z100, Q104.3, 103.5 KTU, 106.7 Lite fm and Power 105.1. 

Pfeffer, who has been with Clear Channel for more than 15 years, will be responsible for company-wide promotions and events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, and will create best practices and synergies around local station concerts, such as Z100’s Jingle Ball in New York. Pfeffer and Poleman were the Executive Producers for the recent iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Pfeffer previously served Clear Channel Radio New York as the Director of Marketing for its five radio stations. 

Pollack, currently EVP of Integrated Music Marketing at Mediabase, will expand her role to include National Programming Platforms.  She will work more closely with the executive Programming team on linking Clear Channel’s capabilities with artist and advertiser relationships.  Pollack will also retain her current responsibility of overseeing label business for Mediabase, Rate the Music and M-score. 

Other appointments within the National Programming Platforms division include:

• Marissa Morris, Manager, Artist Relations and Promotions.  She’ll coordinate artist integration programs, promotions and events. 

•  Melissa Webb, Senior Director.  She’ll be responsible for high-level project management and analysis across the National Programming Platforms department.

RBR-TVBR observation: Well, for all of the local jobs lost, some national ones have been picked up. That’s the good news, we guess. But the reality is more and more programming will be spread across smaller and medium market stations nationwide, with less local on-air talent. It may sound very polished; it may be across multiple platforms and on iHeartRadio, but it’s not going to be local radio. It does look like we will see a spike in local concerts and artist promotions on CC stations, however. Perhaps they can use their critical mass to integrate advertisers into new opportunities. Bottom line—if advertisers are buying on non-local streaming sites like Pandora, they’ll buy on something that “streams nationally with transmitters” as well. Maybe that’s where radio is heading–whether we like it or not.