Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announced both the retirement (1/13) of Chairman and CEO John Hogan and that CC Media Holdings Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman has signed a five-year extension of his contract. Hogan joined the company in 1999 as SVP of Radio when the company acquired Jacor; he was named President and CEO of CC Radio in 2002 and Chairman and CEO of CCME 2/12. Pittman joined Clear Channel in November 2010 from AOL as an investor and the company’s Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms; became the CEO in 2011 and added the Chairman responsibilities in 2013.
The CCME division will now report directly to Pittman and President/CFO Rich Bressler; CC Outdoor Chairman William Eccleshare will report directly to Pittman. Hogan will take the title of Chairman Emeritus.
Said Pittman: “John Hogan has made tremendous contributions to Clear Channel during his tenure – particularly during the unprecedented economic headwinds our country, our industry and our company, faced in 2008 and 2009. He has been an excellent partner for me and for Clear Channel’s leadership as we have evolved into the only multi-platform media company with national reach and the ability to execute locally.”
Added Pittman: “As my friend and partner in Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, John has been an important element in Clear Channel’s transformation into a multiplatform media company. There is never a perfect time to make big decisions like this, but his logic was compelling and making this change at the start of a new year made sense. We thank him for his long service and the enormous positive impact he’s had on both our company and the radio industry, and we are delighted that John will remain part of the family with his title of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Chairman emeritus.”
Regarding his extension, Pittman said: “I initially took on this role because of the one-of-kind assets at Clear Channel, with greater reach than any other media company in America, and its people, who have both the creativity and the drive to reinvent the company. The opportunity was irresistible – and it’s been validated by the success of the iHeartRadio digital service, which reached 20 million registered users faster than any service in the history of the Internet — as well as the transformation of Clear Channel Outdoor to a true media company that connects brands to consumers in increasingly innovative ways, from digital boards to interactive bus shelters to virtual stores connected by mobile devices. The progress we’ve made in the last two years has exceeded my expectations and I’m excited to commit to another five years with this amazing team of dedicated innovators.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The fact that there will be no CEO replacement focusing on radio further underscores: 1) The company’s need to save money, saddled with over $20 billion in debt (no more Hogan salary); 2) The company’s focus on hitting the numbers, rather than focusing on a localized product and improved content (so many others at CCME’s radio stations have been let go); and 3) Continuing Pittman’s vision of making iHeartRadio digital the centerpiece of CCME’s movement to the digital world, of which his experience is steeped in.