Bob Pittman is returning to his radio roots Monday (Nov. 15), making an undisclosed personal equity investment in Clear Channel Communications and taking on the newly created position of chairman of media and entertainment platforms.
In his new role, Pittman will work with CC's newly formed operating committee and board of directors to further develop a comprehensive, integrated digital strategy for Clear Channel Radio, the nation's largest radio group with 850 radio stations.
Pittman will retain his current position as founding member of Pilot Group, a private equity firm.
The news comes less than three months following the exit of Evan Harrison, who helped shape the radio giant's digital strategy. While Harrison reported to John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio, Hogan will report to the operating committee of the board through Pittman.
Pittman is a high-profile addition to Clear Channel, which continues to search for a new CEO to succeed Mark Mays. Mays announced in June he would step down from his position at the end of the year, about a year after Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners took the company private.
Though Pittman began his career programming radio stations in Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York, he moved on to other media. He is credited with being one of the creators of MTV Networks, serving as CEO of MTV Networks. He was also CEO of AOL Networks, COO of America Online and AOL Time Warner. Other executive positions include CEO of Six Flags Theme Parks, Time Warner Enterprises and Century 21 Real Estate.
"With his background in music, radio and entertainment and track record of success in both traditional and digital media, Bob Pittman will be a terrific ally and contributor to Clear Channel in his new role," said Mays. "His experience and understanding of the broad spectrum of media, Internet and mobile will be a real asset to our executive team in continuing to build Clear Channel's core business. Bob will partner with John Hogan both to help set strategic direction for radio and drive the effort to expand our opportunities in the digital arena as well as amplify our outreach to major advertising and marketing partners."
CC Media Holdings reported third-quarter revenue was up 6 percent to $1.47 billion, but posted a net loss of $154.7 million.