This text has been updated to correct the source of two social media comments.
Clear Channel has changed its name to iHeartMedia, blurring the lines between AM/FM analog and digital.
Reaction was swift. Personality Matt Haze tweeted: “Clear Channel is now iHeartMedia. New name, same crippling debt.” Another social media user, Robert Moose, said he was too “lazy” to read an article on RadioInsight.com and asked on Twitter: “So, Clear Channel is getting into the wireless cardiology instrument business?” A Radio World reader posted, “A monopoly by any other name (Clear Channel/iHeart) is still a monopoly.”
The Wall Street Journal says with the change, the broadcaster gets to drop a name that had become “cumbersome” and associated with consolidation, to something that it hopes will resonate more with listeners and advertisers.
Though iHeartRadio only accounts for roughly 10% of total listening for the broadcaster, the company has been extending the brand beyond the Internet, according to the account.
Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman told the WSJ the “Clear Channel” reference, a throwback to high-powered AM stations with protection from interference from other stations “seems way out of place,” especially in meetings with meetings with advertisers as he explained the now former company name.