In a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from pay-for-play to up-and-coming iHeartmedia talent to Nielsen's purchase of Arbitron to the future of the company, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Richard Bressler get into all the details with Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads and Editor-in-Chief Ed Ryan in the cover story of the current issue of Radio Ink Magazine which is out today. The two men at the top of radio's biggest company believe they are changing radio by leading the charge on R.O.I., in the area of digital and with their relationships with artists. And, they want all employees to know their input is very much needed and wanted. Here's an excerpt of our interview with Pittman and Bressler.
Pittman says iHeartmedia employees at the company's 800-plus radio stations should know, at the end of the day, that it is their company. "What Rich and I are doing is trying to get them the resources and the infrastructure and the opportunities they need to succeed. We listen to their input. We want them to tell us what?s going on. We actually look for dissent. We don?t necessarily look for everybody to agree with us. We are looking for people to tell us what we should be doing, new ideas, poke a hole in our ideas. This is all about a team. I don?t think Rich and I see ourselves as generals. We see ourselves as team leaders. We want everybody in this company, down to the smallest market, down to the beginning jobs, to participate in the process of coming up with great ideas and executing them flawlessly."
On the iHeartMedia talent roster, Bressler says, it's amazing. "I?m so proud of our personalities and what they accomplish on a daily basis, particularly how they connect with their fans. For our listeners, these folks have become trusted friends and virtual family members ? they invite them into their homes every day. Nationally recognized talent like Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Delilah, Steve Harvey, The Breakfast Club, and Mario Lopez; people like Bobby Bones, who has emerged as one of our top country personalities in a remarkably short time; great talent whose reach has expanded here, like Rover, Elliot and Kane; fantastic talent new to our company, like Angie Martinez; and other great emerging talent like T-Roy, Tige and Daniel, Nathan Fast, Alex Gervasi and Papa Keith ? they are part of the fabric of listeners? daily lives, and we?re hugely appreciative of what they bring to our company. This is an advantage broadcast radio has over every other music service ? nothing else can compare to that personal element, and that?s what makes radio radio."
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