CCM&E + CMT = multiplatform Country juggernaut


Clear ChannelThere will be unparalleled promotional exposure for any Country artist lucky enough to earn a place on the massive multimedia platform being created by a partnership being formed by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment and Country Music Television.

The result is a historic inroad into the Country audience, including the 92 million households within the grasp of CMT and the 89 million who tune into Clear Channel Country radio stations monthly.

The pair stated, “Under the agreement, CMT and CCM+E will work together to develop additional programming and events across radio, television and digital platforms to provide Country fans with unparalleled access to the music and artists they’re passionate about. Additionally, the partnership will allow for cross-promotional opportunities across 125 Clear Channel Country stations in 105 markets and on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s free, industry leading digital music service which recently surpassed 40 million registered users and 260 million downloads, as well CMT and its digital platforms which include the 24/7 music channel CMT Pure,, CMT Mobile and the network’s more than seven million fans across social media.”

The companies will also share the talents of CMT host Alan Cody, who will take over a program slot on CCM+E’s Premiere Networks early next year. The program will be heard on more than 200 radio stations and over the internet on iHeart, and will originate from CMT studios in Nashville.

“I like to think there was an inevitability to this partnership,” stated Brian Philips, President of CMT. “We know CCM+E’s leadership and we share their excitement and tenacity in working with music and talent to bring the most exciting entertainment to all of these platforms. On a personal note, I am ecstatic to once again work with former colleagues John Sykes and Tom Poleman, among CCM+E’s many forward-thinking creative executives. Country is enjoying a big moment. Clear Channel and CMT will capture it, celebrate it and spread the excitement across America to hundreds of millions.”

“We’re excited to join with CMT in this multi-faceted alliance, which will create one of the most powerful platforms in Country music,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “By leveraging our combined national broadcast, digital and event content, we’ll now have the opportunity to reach even more Country fans than ever before and provide even more unique experiences with music and artists, while also delivering unmatched results for our partners. We’re also excited to work with someone of Cody’s caliber. He’s a household name in the Country music industry, and his energy, passion and charm make him the ideal host to connect our audience across these incredible platforms.”

RBR-TVBR observation: CCM+E is showing genuine leadership. In an environment where competing media interests are increasingly butting heads, Clear Channel is increasingly cutting deals instead.

It’s very true that it can do things that are simply beyond the scope of smaller broadcasters – the owner of a mom & pop AM-FM combo in Snakes Navel, Idaho is not going to be able to pick up the phone and cut a deal with Columbia Records – but in time, a path may be found via which business models pioneered by Clear Channel can work their way into the mainstream.

This much is for sure – it is far preferable for two businesses to cut a deal rather than for the same two businesses to sit back and have their fate dictated by Congress, the FCC, the FTC and the Copyright Royalty Board. Just sayin’…