Clear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia
September 16, 2014 at 5:50 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL has renamed itself iHEARTMEDIA, "reflecting the company's success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact," explains the company.
The newly named company includes 859 radio stations in over 150 markets; iHEARTMEDIA DIGITAL, 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 consumer engagement on social media platforms; its related companies, including KATZ MEDIA GROUP; as well as CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR.
"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 Chairman/CEO BOB PITTMAN.
"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% of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30% 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-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. will retain the CLEAR CHANNEL brand.
Rebranding For The Digital Age, But Still Saddled With Debt
PITTMAN told THE NEW YORK TIMES, " To capture all these concepts and still call it the legacy name, really is a disservice to what we are and what people here have built. So we’ve taken our biggest national brand, our newest brand, our most digital brand, and made that the name of the company.”
But the paper points out, "for CLEAR CHANNEL, which began in the 1970s and was taken over as part of a $17.9 billion private-equity deal that was completed at the peak of the market in 2008 -- and which saddled the company with a mountain of debt -- the rebranding is also an attempt to reshape perceptions of the company for the digital age."
"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 country¹s 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 it¹s a platform that only iHEARTMEDIA provides."
"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," added 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."
Effective TODAY (9/16), CC MEDIA HOLDINGS, INC. will become iHEARTMEDIA, INC. In connection with the company¹s new brand, the company's ticker symbol will also change, effective SEPTEMBER 17th. Of the company's major businesses, CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA + 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.