Clear Channel Taps Partilla for Global Sales

NEW YORK Advertising and marketing veteran John Partilla is joining radio and outdoor behemoth Clear Channel Communications in the newly created position of evp, president of global media sales.

In his new role, Partilla will lead business development across the company’s radio and outdoor business and report to CEO Mark Mays.

Partilla, 44, joins Clear Channel from Time Warner, were he was president of that company’s global media group. Prior to Time Warner, Partilla was president of WPP’s Young & Rubicam, and founder and CEO of the Brand Buzz unit there.

Time Warner said Partilla would be replaced by Mark D’Arcy, who had been Partilla’s No. 2  at the group. D’Arcy will now report to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

“Now is the time to accelerate and expand our attention to chief marketing officers and brand managers,” said Mays in a statement. “John is widely respected as a creative leader with a deep understanding of client needs. His success in crafting differentiated solutions makes him the ideal strategic sales executive for us at this important time.”

Both Clear Channel and Time Warner have been severely buffeted by the recession. Time Warner has responded in part by shedding key operations, including its cable division and more recently AOL.

Clear Channel is in the middle of a massive debt restructuring that has prompted speculation about a possible bankruptcy filing. The company was saddled with $21 billion in debt last year when it was taken private.

“We’re entering a new era for advertising and marketing, and the strides that Clear Channel has made in digital platforms across both the radio and outdoor businesses are an outstanding match for the new demands being placed on marketers,” said Partilla. “Realizing that potential will require adding strategic and creative value for our best advertising partners — helping them solve their most critical business problems. The result will be more revenue across all of Clear Channel’s businesses.”

Commenting on D’Arcy’s promotion, Bewkes said in a statement: “Mark understands how to leverage our high-quality content and brands to promote and market the products and services of our most important clients. His proven track record of bringing together ad partners and our businesses to create innovative marketing campaigns is an even greater asset as we become a more content-focused company.”