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Clear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia

IHeartMedia IHeart Media Clear Channel Entertainment Radio Bob PittmanOriginally known as merely a classification for 50kW AM signals with wide nighttime coverage, the Clear Channel name is joining much of the AM band in irrelevance.

Effective immediately Clear Channel is rebranding itself as iHeartMedia as the company places additional focus towards its iHeartRadio.com streaming platform. The company itself will be known as iHeartMedia, Inc, while the broadcast holdings formerly known as Clear Channel Media + Entertainment will be simply IHeartMedia.

Clear Channel announced today that it has become iHeartMedia, reflecting the company’s success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact.

The newly named company includes a wide range of advertising-supported, consumer-focused media businesses, including 840 radio stations in 150 markets, with more than 245 million listeners a month — the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America; the iHeartRadio Network with its more than 90 million digital monthly uniques; Premiere Networks, which syndicates 90 radio programs and services to more than 5,500 radio affiliates; the Total Traffic and Weather Network, reaching almost all U.S. commuters; 20,000 live music events, all of which generate massive consumer engagement on social media platforms and the largest of which are even televised; its related companies, including Katz Media Group; as well as Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies.

“iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobile devices – and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises. Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) will retain the Clear Channel brand. As it continues to transform the global out-of-home industry, Clear Channel Outdoor’s brand and products will become an even more important part of iHeartMedia’s future.

“Although we are changing the parent company’s name, Clear Channel Outdoor is built into the fabric of our multi-platform company,” said Rich Bressler, President and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc. “With its continued growth into digital and mobile, Clear Channel Outdoor has tremendous momentum as a leader in the out-of-home advertising industry, and is a more integral part of our company than ever. We’re pleased that the Clear Channel brand, with its long history and respected heritage, will continue on in our Outdoor business.”

iHeartMedia reflects both the success and the cultural impact of the iHeartRadio business formed three years ago and the evolution of the company’s major local radio station brands and franchises to include mobile, social and events. iHeartRadio has become the dominant national consumer brand among the company’s assets with almost 70 percent consumer brand awareness and record-breaking digital growth, reaching 50 million registered users faster than any digital music service, and even faster than Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. The company’s 840 radio stations have led the way for the entire media business, becoming even more relevant in the lives of their listeners by expanding how they connect with listeners live and in-the-moment in mobile and across its network of social platforms.

“iHeartMedia was created by the strongest broadcast radio stations in the country, and we will continue to build this company the same way – on the country’s strongest radio stations,” said Pittman. “We are especially excited because our digital platform extends the reach and impact for our wildly popular on-air personalities – and it’s a platform that only iHeartMedia provides.”

The new company is fueled by its ability to deliver the reach and scale of broadcast media with the relevance and emotional power of real-time programming, complemented by its culture-defining live events, which have amassed 15.4 billion social impressions. These include the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the biggest live concert event in radio history; the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour; the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party; and the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which garnered more than 65 million votes via text messaging and led the week in the Nielsen social TV ratings.

“In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average. It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities,” said Pittman. “The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

“We’re pulling together our powerful local and national brands and industry-leading platforms to make it easier for advertisers to tap into the range of content, audiences and experiences we deliver on devices, in cars, on stages and everywhere consumers want to find information and be entertained,” said Bressler.

Effective today, CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCCB: CCMO) will become iHeartMedia, Inc. In connection with the company’s new brand, the company’s ticker symbol will also change, effective September 17th. Of the company’s major businesses, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will become iHeartMedia; other company brands, including iHeartRadio, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, Katz Media Group and RCS, will retain their current names.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    Why postpone the inevitable? Change the name to iHeartDebt and proudly proclaim the $20+billion owed.

  2. Profile photo of JayR


    The title should read Cheap Channel becomes iHateMedia. Just listen to one of their stations…nothing original. Pure cookie cutter radio.

    • Profile photo of Mark


      But still top-rated and high revenue generators in many markets. It’s already been proved that most radio listeners don’t want DJ talk and want music instead–which, of course, is why Pandora is doing so well.

  3. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    Premiere Networks will likely get rebranded iHeartNetworks; Total Traffic iHeartTrafic, etc.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      I highly doubt it.

      Cumulus is retaining their other brand names (Westwood One, Right Now Traffic) because their air product is still offered to non-Cumulus stations.

      Same thing with Clear Channel iHeart… Premiere Networks and Total Traffic are less monopolist-sounding.

  4. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    Think the V.T. deejays will change their names? I Heart Mornings…I Heart Mid-Days..I Heart Being Fired….etc

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