President of National Programming Platforms
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment
Tom Poleman oversees Clear Channel's music and event marketing, label and artist relations, on-air talent development, digital programming and network of format-specific brand managers. (Not bad for a former DJ whose industry career humbly began at Cornell University's student-run radio station WVBR-FM Ithaca, N.Y.) In New York alone, where Poleman is based, Clear Channel stations monopolize four of the top five spots in Arbitron's latest Portable People Meter ratings tally of listeners aged 6-plus (December 2011). Prior to assuming his current position, Poleman was PD of Clear Channel's flagship mainstream top 40 station WHTZ (Z100) New York beginning in 1996. After a heavy reliance on alternative rock in the mid-'90s hurt the station's identity as a mass-appeal music destination, Poleman spearheaded its return to ratings dominance. One listener during Poleman's early days of programming Z100? Lady Gaga (see No. 84), a New York native. "This was the first live show I ever went to," the singer said as she beamed to fans from Madison Square Garden's stage as she closed Z100's Jingle Ball in December. "I used to listen to [morning host] Elvis Duran every day on the radio and imagine how one day he would be introducing my songs." Power to the people.
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