In something of a surprise move to start the new year, CC Media Holdings announced that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Chairman/CEO John Hogan is retiring and that the arm of the company he was overseeing, which includes radio, will now report directly to Bob Pittman.
Hogan is a relatively old-timer at Clear Channel; he came aboard in 1999 when Clear Channel bought radio broadcaster Jacor, where Hogan had been a senior vice president. Hogan eventually became Clear Channel Radio president/CEO in 2002, then chairman/CEO of the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment arm of the company in 2012.
Pittman, who is chairman/CEO of parent CC Media Holdings, made the announcement.
The move consolidates responsibility to Pittman, whose extension of his own contract for five years headlined the press release. Its wording implies that retirement is Hogan’s decision, though he was not quoted, which is unusual. But Pittman was effusive in his praise of the retiring executive, who is being given the title of chairman emeritus of CCME. He cited Hogan’s “tremendous contributions,” particularly during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, and called Hogan “my friend and partner. … There is never a perfect time to make big decisions like this, but his logic was compelling and making this change at the start of a new year made sense.”
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will now report directly to Pittman and Clear Channel’s President/CFO Rich Bressler. William Eccleshare continues as CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor and reports to Pittman.
The high-profile Pittman joined the company in late 2010, became CEO in 2011 and added the chairman title in 2013. He has sought to position the company as a multiplatform leader active in radio, outdoor, digital, social, events and, increasingly, video and TV. In the announcement Pittman talked about the success of the iHeartRadio digital service over the past two years and the “transformation” of Clear Channel Outdoor to a “true media company that connects brands to consumers in increasingly innovative ways, from digital boards to interactive bus shelters to virtual stores connected by mobile devices.”