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Thread: Clear Channel Becomes iHeart Media

  1. #1
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    Clear Channel Becomes iHeart Media

    Clear Channel launched the iHeartRadio app in 2008, allowing anyone with a mobile device to listen to any of Clear Channel's 1500 radio stations. More than 50,000,000 people have the app and each month around 97,000,000 people listen to the iHeartRadio Network online. Explaining the decision to rename Clear Channel as iHeart Media, CEO Robert Pittman said, "To capture all these media 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."

    This rebranding reminds me of the old parable about giving a pig a bath and putting a bow and perfume on him. He'll still be a pig and he'll run right back to the mud. After years of radio station purchases and consolidation and firings and voice-tracking, Clear Channel changing its name will not change people's perception of the company as an "evil empire."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/bu...edia.html?_r=0
    Last edited by Thomps2525; 09-17-2014 at 06:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by LARadioRewind View Post
    After years of radio station purchases and consolidation and firings and voice-tracking, Clear Channel changing its name will not change people's perception of the company as an "evil empire."
    I find that the only people who have that perception are radio people, or EX radio people. And actually low end radio people. Because most upper level radio people want to work for them, and usually find a way in, and manage to stay for long, healthy careers. There are a lot of examples. By the same token, there are a lot of other people who had problems. I agree with the idea that they over-expanded, in a way that was too quick to absorb all of that expansion. That led to a lot of business problems.

    But on the programming side, they run a lot of extremely popular radio stations that have stayed popular through multiple staff changes. They've done so during a time when they've faced lots of competition from satellite, internet, and anything else. You take a look at a lot of major markets, and you'll see CC stations among the top of the ratings charts. So the public loves their stations (except when they flip a format). The public loves their syndication. And the public REALLY likes this streaming app.

    As I said in another thread, it's clear that the public is transitioning away from OTA radio. The investment community isn't very motivated by radio-only companies. That bloom is off the rose. So if CC wants to grow and deal with its debt, it needs to transition to a different kind of company. That's what this name change is about. The "pig," if you want to call it that, is OTA radio. The bath is putting its content on the internet. The bow is the new name. Get used to it. This change was going to happen regardless of who owned what. Every other company in radio is facing the exact same situation. CC is the biggest, and they're the ones taking the lead. It's the right move, regardless of what some old radio people, or former radio people, think.
    Last edited by TheBigA; 09-17-2014 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    I find that the only people who have that perception are radio people, or EX radio people.
    This is something I've noticed for a long, long time. People who are connected to radio tend to associate with other people connected to radio and usually think that what they and their friends think reflect the general population. It's not true. Even when I was in radio, most of my friends were outside the business and I quickly learned that most people don't think about radio any more than they think about electricity. They flip a switch and expect electricity, or in the case of radio music, to come out.

    All these arguments about "you gotta be live and local"... I've never heard one person disconnected from the biz say that. The people who say that are people who want a local radio job.

  4. #4

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    The most sobering thing to me in 1989 was having my first non-radio "day job" in a long time where the radio was playing. The most popular CHR was playing, and no one noticed. I'd pick up on things like the regular midday jock being off and a part-timer being in. No one else did. The only time they noticed was when this station deviated from the format (though it was CHR, they did a daily "9 at 9" that could go as early as 1964. Then folks would say "who changed the station?" People listen to non-local programming all the time. On this board we'll wax poetic at how much listeners will love that DJ sipping a latte in a little room downtown talking about potholes and school board meetings between the hits. Everyone else? Yawn

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gr8oldies View Post
    Everyone else? Yawn
    That's because most people have lives.

  6. #6
    I understand what some of you are saying, but there are people in the music press and the music pages of some alternative and internet newspapers who have referred to Clear Channel (and some other companies like it) as "ruining radio", "ruining music", and referring to it as "causing the homogenization of American radio", etc.

    The articles, comments, letters to the editor, and the other places I've seen those terms referring to companies like Clear Channel weren't made by radio people, but seemed to be made by people either in the music press, the music industry (many of them apparently musicians), or people associated with the music industry in some way.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by boombox4 View Post
    The articles, comments, letters to the editor, and the other places I've seen those terms referring to companies like Clear Channel weren't made by radio people, but seemed to be made by people either in the music press, the music industry (many of them apparently musicians), or people associated with the music industry in some way.
    As I've said to people in the music business many times: If you don't like the music radio plays, the problem is in the music business. Nobody I know in radio makes music. We just play it.

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