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Bob Pittman, Radio's Most Powerful For 2012


The Radio Ink 40 Most Powerful People in Radio issue is now out. At the top of that list for the second year in a row is Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. Pittman entered our Top 40 list in 2011 in the top spot, the first person ever to enter the list at #1. Pittman is the CEO of radio's largest company which, alone, will get all of his phone calls answered, and answered quickly. He has also become one of radio's biggest cheerleaders, always promoting the industry, always emphasizing how radio is undervalued for what it provides. Tack on the iHeartRadio device and events, the decades of previous business successes, and the recent deal with Big Machine Records, and the choice for the top spot for the second year in a row was an easy one for our editorial team to make.

"I think the radio industry has a powerful story to tell. We're one of the big three media--tv, radio and internet--in terms of reach, usage and engagement. And we all belong in the mix media in a major way. However, radio is the only one of the three that gets far less of the advertising pie than it deserves. The good news is that all we really have to do is tell the story to the decision makers--it's a story the key decision makers don't know and won't know unless we tell it and tell it often."

"We also have to be marketing partners--figuring out how to help our advertisers achieve marketing goals that are essential to them. We're not going to reach our potential if we just respond to rfp's and "sell spots."

"And finally, harnessing the full power of radio means we have to engage every part of our companies and our talent. John Hogan and I both dedicate a part of our time to personally meet with advertisers to understand their plans and needs and develop solutions. And John uses our programmers--our chief creative people-- to help develop plans and creative solutions for our advertisers. Our on air talent even has a big role to play with ideas and execution. It's about team work--at all levels in our companies and among all the radio companies. All the radio companies are fierce competitors with each other, but we also need to be strong collaborators working together to sell the power and unique benefits of radio to marketers who under-use radio, or don't use it. And when we convince them to try it, we'll definitely get a thanks--because we always make their marketing more effective, and always more efficient."

Interim CEO at Yahoo, Ross Levinsohn, has known Pittman for over 20 years. He tells Radio Ink, "Radio has such a rich opportunity. I can see Bob redefining what it means to be in the music business across devices and screens globally. Bob Pittman is a rare combination of visionary, astute businessman, and leader of the pack. His charm and wit, style and substance have helped propel him through multiple adventures and resounding business successes. Hes a champion, and someone I would go to battle for.

Pittman says leading a company as big as Clear Channel is all about building a team and collaborating, both within the company and withpartners. Its about having a clear vision that everyone can believe in, turning that vision into an operating plan, and then executing on that plan with more urgency than anyone else," he explains. "And its also about taking chances. The worst decision is to do nothing. We tolerate mistakes and we even expect them because mistakes are the byproduct of innovation and we want to innovate on a consistent and constant basis. And through it all, we have fun and respect each other. The Golden Rule works in business too.

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(7/17/2012 6:51:29 PM)
Wikipedia shows that Pittman received 3 1/2 million dollars in compensation last year, while many Clear Channel employees have not had a raise in years, and while the company owes 20 billion dollars. ...Pittman obviously is GREAT at selling Bob Pittman!

- Bob
(7/17/2012 9:41:34 AM)
By the way, Bob is not The Enemy. His, however, is a convenient face on which to focus the travails of music radio.

No. Our enemy is in our mirrors - those of us who have followed the C.C. example and employed a "scorched earth" policy on our radio stations by wiping out local talent on the air, in the newsrooms and in the creative and production departments.

That we would survey the smoldering landscape and summarily promote it as a lush oasis of advertising and programming excellence - that's just obnoxious.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(7/17/2012 7:30:49 AM)
"I'm Bob Pittman and I approve this message."

- Ronald T. Robinson
(7/16/2012 5:56:43 PM)
Not bad for a guy that started out in the trenches of small town radio. Bob Pittman finds few equals with his achievements in business. His creative juices are evident again, only this time at Clear Channel. Radio is very fortunate to have Bob Pittman amongst them.

- John Rook

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