Clear Channel Changes Name to iHeartMedia

The new iHeartMedia logo

Clear Channel is now iHeartMedia. The multi-platform media company announced on Tuesday (Sept. 16) that it has changed names to reflect the growth and influence of the iHeart brands.

The San Antonio-based company's holdings of ad-supported and consumer-focused media business include 859 radio stations in over 150 markets; Premiere Networks, which syndicates 90 radio shows; the iHeartMedia Digital company; Total Traffic and Weather Network; 20,000 live music events, including the iHeartRadio Music Festival; plus, related companies like Katz Media Group and outdoor advertiser Clear Channel Outdoor.

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Effective immediately, CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCCB: CCMO) will become iHeartMedia, and a new ticker symbol will debut on Wednesday (Sept. 17). 

"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.

Pittman said iHeart's success at delivering a high return of investment (Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI) is "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." 

He added, "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."

The iHeart brand has also been at the forefront of an aggressive event strategy helmed by Tom Poleman and John Sykes, presidents of the company’s national programming platforms and entertainment enterprises, respectively. Since the inaugural iHeartRadio Festival in 2011, Poleman and Sykes have spearheaded over a half-dozen new franchises under the iHeart banner, from the Ultimate Pool Party in Miami and Country festival in Austin to a 12-city Jingle Ball arena tour and the first Awards on NBC. New franchises in Latin and EDM are currently being explored, as the executives told Billboard in the Sept. 20 issue.

“Because we reach so many segments, we're looking at a couple other areas that maybe won't reach the scale of the iHeartRadio Festival, but they'll be amazing evenings or weekends of music that get into different genres,” Sykes said.
 
In July, Pittman announced that the app increased registered users -- now 50 million -- by 50 percent year over year. Additionally, the iHeartRadio festival's third year accumulated 21 million listeners and 1.1 million tuned in to The CW's edited two-hour telecast (Yahoo is iHeartRadio's streaming partner). Clear Channel revenue also grew during the second quarter, helping boost a 1 percent revenue growth to $1.6 billion

To mark the name change, the Empire State Building in NYC will change its lights from Clear Channel blue to iHeartRadiio red at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 17.