July 22, 2019

The Future of Audio with iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman - CNBC Interview

Image result for iheartradio #1 podcastsiHeartMedia, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman and President, COO and CFO Rich Bressler rang the opening bell last week to commemorate the listing of the Company’s Class A common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The stock will began trading under the ticker “IHRT.”

Pittman discussed the company's growth, recovery and its return to the stock market as a publicly listed company on CNBC. [Watch the interview below.]

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 with more than $16 billion in debt. Many in the industry were expecting the company to sell off its 850 radio stations. However the company is now under a restructuring plan presented in court in January of 2019. Under the terms of the plan, iHeartMedia will complete a balance sheet restructuring which will reduce its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and will separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (the billboard advertising company) from iHeartMedia, creating two independent public companies.

In January 2019 Pittman said, “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”

Image result for the breakfast club podcast

Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Durant, Steve Harvey, The Breakfast Club, The Bobby Bones Show, along with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh are the mainstays of the company. They also promote themselves as the number one platform for podcasts. Pittman said iHeartMedia is not competing against music content providers such as Spotify. He says iHeartMedia is in the "companionship business."

Pittman, 65, began as a radio announcer at age 15 in his native state of Mississippi. He became the program director at WNBC in New York City at the age of 23 in the 1970's. He is a media pioneer that co-founded and programmed the music video cable channel MTV. In 2010 Pittman became chairman of Clear Channel, which renamed itself as iHeartMedia in 2014.

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