In the day of YouTube, iTunes, SiriusXM and Pandora, broadcast radio has had its share of naysayers—and certainly Clear Channel is opined to be blamed for much of radio’s problems today. But Bob Pittman, Clear Channel CEO, tells WSJ iHeartRadio is a key to the medium’s future.
He also explains how he wants to make radio “cool again.”
“It is a challenge unlike anything else he has taken on,” said the article. “Whereas his involvement with both MTV and AOL occurred when they were fresh and new, Radio is one of the oldest of old media. Its future was bleak even before the Internet and satellite radio came along, but now traditional radio faces an array of digital competitors in streaming music services, from Pandora to Spotify.”
The article says the founder of MTV and former top executive at AOL is tethered by the slow growth of radio advertising, which grew just 1% in 2011 and by the $20 million in debt hanging over Clear Channel, after the company bought so many stations at high valuations.
He also explained the company reported $4 billion in losses in 2008 and 2009 due to impairment charges. By 2011, the outlook improved but the “company was still in the red to the tune of $302 million.”