Tag Archives: iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia and Aaron Mahnke Sign Multi-Year Partnership Extension



iHeartMedia announced a multi-year extension to the iHeartPodcast Network’s exclusive partnership with esteemed author and podcast creator, Aaron Mahnke.

The deal includes two more years of new content for the popular Cabinet of Curiosities, two new seasons of Unobscured, as well an executive producer role for the newly launched Strange Arrivals, additional seasons of Noble Blood and a new scripted series set to launch this fall.

Additionally, the partnership will add a slate of five new podcasts to feature groundbreaking talent including Rabia Chaudry – attorney, advocate and author of the New York Times bestselling book “Adnan’s Story.”

A pioneer of the podcasting medium, Mahnke rose to fame several years ago with his megahit show Lore, which is still one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world and was spun off into a TV show, book series and live tour. In 2018, iHeartMedia and Mahnke entered into an exclusive partnership to create an original slate of podcasts.

This resulted in new, huge hits like Unobscured and Cabinet of Curiosities. As part of this deal, Mahnke also began to executive produce new shows including Noble Blood, which reached the top of podcast charts everywhere when it launched last year.

In addition to being available on digital, full episodes and vignettes of the extended content slate will air on broadcast radio, bringing this exceptional storytelling to iHeartMedia’s more than a quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners.


iHeartMedia Seeks to Increase its Foreign Ownership



iHeartMedia has filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC to allow it to exceed the maximum foreign ownership limit of 25%

iHeart is seeking FCC approval for foreign investors to own up to 100% of its equity and voting interests, and specific approval for certain foreign investors that seek to directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the company’s equity, and/or hold equity interests that will cause them to be deemed to hold more than 10% of iHeart’s voting rights.

In its filing, iHeart states that changes in its ownership structure that are an outgrowth of its bankruptcy reorganization from the issuing of new common stock and becoming publicly traded will potentially cause foreign approval for two foreign investment firms that will hold more than 5% of iHeart’s voting or 10% of iHeart’s equity interests.

The Ireland based PIMCO Group, which is controlled by the German based controlled by Allianz SE seeks to hold up to a 19.99% voting interest and a 32.99% equity interest in iHeart. The Bermuda based Invesco and affiliated entities up to a 19.99% voting and equity interest in iHeart after previously getting temporary approval form the FCC last summer to own 9.4% of iHeart’s Class A Common Stock.

iHeart argues grant of the Petition will serve public interest by “enabling iHeart to better compete in the already diverse and ever-expanding media marketplace, incentivizing foreign investment in broadcasting, and promoting U.S. trade policy by encouraging reciprocal investment opportunities for U.S. companies in foreign markets, while avoiding any risks to national security, law enforcement, or foreign or trade policy.”


iHeartMedia and OZY Media Announce Multi-Year Deal



iHeartMedia and OZY Media announced a new multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released in 2020 and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The partnership reflects iHeartRadio’s focus on growing its library of high-quality original podcasts for its hundreds of millions of listeners across the country and OZY Media’s continued expansion into original content for audio and TV.

“OZY’s global suite of diverse storytellers and story-finders focuses on what’s new and what’s next. These podcasts reflect the desire of younger audiences to broaden their minds and think bigger,” said Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of OZY Media. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the massively talented team at iHeartMedia to co-produce powerful and diverse podcasts for listeners.”

The first co-produced podcast in the slate will be Around the World, a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity. The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth. The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off from OZY’s series The Thread and a scripted podcast.

These narratives draw from OZY’s cutting-edge digital news stories and have evolved into podcasts that appeal to a wide range of curious listeners interested in seeing a broader and bolder world. In addition to co-producing the new slate of original podcasts, two of OZY’s existing news and culture podcasts – The Thread and OZY Confidential – will join the iHeartPodcast Network’s deep catalog of podcast titles.

As part of the deal, iHeartMedia and OZY Media will work together to co-produce these original podcasts for distribution and promotion across iHeartMedia’s multiple platforms including broadcast radio stations, iHeartRadio, its digital streaming platform, as well as social media channels. The iHeartPodcast Network has more than 750 original shows available to listeners nationwide.


iHeartMedia Initiated a Round of Layoffs



Recently, iHeartMedia announced a new organizational structure that created a series of Market Groups. Those groups included the Regional Division, the Metro Division, the Community Division, and a Multi-Media Partnerships Division. Not long after that announcement, a series of layoffs occurred.

Rolling Stone has details about the layoffs, which it reported were “concentrated in small and medium markets, where staffs had already been reduced, striking another major blow to local radio.” Rolling Stone also wrote:

iHeartMedia, which controls more than 800 radio stations and paid its CEO more than $14 million in 2017, declined to comment on the specific number of layoffs. In a statement that echoed its email to employees, the company noted that “during a transition like this, it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some shifts in jobs – some by location and some by function – but the number is relatively small given our overall employee base of 12,500.” “That said,” the statement continued, “we recognize that the loss of any job is significant; we take that responsibility seriously and have been thoughtful in the process.”

If you want to get a look at how widespread the layoffs are, type “iHeartMedia layoffs” into the search engine of your choice. There are dozens of articles from local news sites reporting the names and (former) positions of people who have worked in radio for a very long time – and who are now unemployed.


iHeartMedia Announced a Series of Automotive Integrations



At CES 2020, iHeartMedia announced seven new upcoming integrations with General Motors, Android Automotive, Panasonic, SoundHound, and others. To optimize and enrich the in-vehicle experience for drivers, iHeartRadio is rolling out a series of automotive integrations and concept demonstrations all designed to bring iHeartRadio’s library of audio content to listeners in a seamless way.

…By integrating with the most innovative automotive companies on the market, iHeartRadio enables consumers to access the music, podcasts and personalities they love, whenever and wherever they are, on any device. iHeartRadio is currently available on 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including on digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, and smartphones as well as on virtual assistant, small speakers, TVs, gaming consoles and more.

Details on iHeartRadio’s new integrations can be found in:

Android Automotive OS: iHeartRadio is releasing a new, stand-alone version of its app for vehicles powered by Android with Google Play Store built-in. The app will be distributed via the Google Play Store and available in the first Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge vehicle launches in 2020.

BMW ConnectedDrive: Building upon iHeartRadio’s existing BMW ConnectedDrive experience, the company is releasing a new app version that will be available in both Flagship Mobile clients, iOS and Android.

HARMAN Ignite: The new HARMAN Ignite Marketplace is supported through a strong partner ecosystem of in-vehicle apps and services. iHeartRadio announced it is an early ecosystem partner for the HARMAN Ignite Marketplace.

LG webOS Auto: LG’s webOS platform is now supported by the car. IHeartRadio on webOS Auto is based on its TV design and is available for rear seat use.

Panasonic: Panasonic Automotive built SkipGen – which is powered by Android 10. It features the iHeartRadio app designed for Android Automotive.

SoundHound / Houndify / Hound App: iHeartRadio and SoundHound are working together to bring iHeart Radio’s content to SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform and Hound app. Through this partnership, developers and partners using Houndify and Hound app will have access to iHeartRadio’s free suite of offerings through Live Radio (U.S. only), Artist Radio (U.S. only) and Podcasts (available globally except the U.K.), no login or authentication required.


iHeartMedia Announced New Organizational Structure



iHeartMedia announced a new organizational structure for its Market Group as it modernizes the company to take advantage of significant investments it has made in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) and its unique scale and leadership position in the audio marketplace.

The new structure will enable the company to maximize the performance of each of its markets – and the company overall – with its unique scale and multiple platforms, and its expertise in consumers, monetization and data.

The new organizational structure groups iHeartMedia’s markets by common needs and characteristics into three distinctly different divisions to make sharing of resources and experiences easier and more targeted. The new structure of the iHeartMedia’s Markets Group will continue to be led by Greg Ashlock, President of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

iHeartMedia Market Groups:

The Region Division: The Region Division comprises the company’s largest markets, like New York and Los Angeles, that each reach hundreds of cities, communities, and trading areas for local businesses. The Region Division will be led by Division Presidents Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopek.

The Metro Division: The Metro Division houses markets that are large areas that still encompass multiple communities – but are not regional hubs like the company’s largest markets. The Metro Division will be led by Division Presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles, and Linda Byrd.

The Community Division: The Community Division includes markets that focus on the shared needs of one community and one trading area for most businesses and advertisers and will also group markets into areas which are geographically close and culturally similar. The Community Division will be led by President Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau and Dan Lankford.

Additionally, the company is creating a new Division that cuts across all Markets – the very successful Multi-Market Partnerships (MMP) Division headed by Julie Donahue, who is elevated to President of MMP with responsibility for this business.

The company will also be using its new technology- and AI enabled Centers of Excellence – which consolidate functional areas of expertise in specific locations to deliver the highest quality products and services – for every Market, enabling each to take advantage of the company’s scale and shared resources across programming, marketing, digital, podcasts, sales, and sales support to provide a better experience for listeners and business partners and a more efficient process for all its employees.


iHeartMedia has been Approved for Listing on NASDAQ



iHeartMedia announced that its Class A common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Upon listing, iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock will trade under the ticker “IHRT”.

As previously announced, iHeart had been evaluating all paths to achieve a listing of its Class A common stock on a recognized U.S. stock exchange following emergence from its restructuring process. iHeartMedia has determined that a listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market is the optimal strategy for iHeartMedia and all of the company’s stakeholders.

As a result, the Company has requested the withdrawal of its previously filed registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. iHeartMedia’s management team met with investors the week of July 15 in advance of a listing date of July 18, 2019.

“This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia. Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.


iHeartMedia Seeks a Producer/Editor/Engineer



iHeartMedia Inc. is seeking a talented editor, engineer, and audio content producer to assist in podcast production for the Los Angeles division of the iHeartMedia Podcast Network. Applicants should first and foremost have a feel for timing and the coherent delivery of information, and be able to assemble seamless, highly listenable edits of long format voice-only content, on often-tight deadlines.

Applicants should have at least a basic background in audio engineering, and be comfortable recording and editing audio in Pro Tools.

This is an information-based medium, so an ideal candidate will also have a fundamental base of intellectual curiosity, be up on current events and culture, and be able to perform effective and efficient research on a wide range of topics, and know how to assimilate and deliver those ideas in a coherent way.

They want someone who is “personable, responsible, and professional”.

Responsibilities include:

  • Records, edits and contributes to development of content for podcasts.
  • Possesses recording expertise in both studio and field environments.
  • Collaborates with hosts and other vertical teams to achieve the highest standard of assets and deliverables for the company.

To find out more about about the Producer/Editor/Engineer position, and to apply for it, please visit the iHeartMedia website where the job is listed.


iHeartMedia Launches iHeartPodcast Channel on the Radio



iHeartMedia launched it’s first iHeartPodcast Channel. It is the new format on WSAN in the Allentown-Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, market. Since 2016, AM 1470 had been airing the Spanish-language sports network ESPN Deportes.

InsiderRadio reported that channel is now being called “The iHeartPodcast Channel on AM 1470”.

The iHeartPodcast Channel is a carefully curated experience that brings you the most creative stories from over 25,000 podcasts available on our free iHeartRadio app. From true crime to history, comedy to food, we’ll cover dozens of topics every week,” says Craig Stevens, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia in the Allentown-Bethlehem market.

The Morning Call reported that the 1470 frequency will continue to broadcast Lehigh Phantoms hockey, but will no longer carry the Philadelphia Phillies games in Spanish. The station will continue to air Tempo Italiano with John Richetta 8 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

The Monday-Friday lineup will be:

  • 12-3 a.m.: Stuff You Should Know
  • 4-5 a.m.: Omnibus
  • 5-7 a.m.: Stuff to Blow Your Mind
  • 7-8 a.m.:Unqualified with Anna Ferris
  • 8-10 a.m.:Ridiculous History
  • 10 a.m. – noon:Stuff You Should Know
  • Noon – 1 p.m.:Broken Harts
  • 1-2 p.m.: Part Time Genius
  • 2-3 p.m.: Stuff to Blow Your Mind
  • 3-5 p.m.: Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • 5-6 p.m.: Stuff Your Mom Never Told You
  • 6-7 p.m.: Happy Face
  • 7-8 p.m.: Broken Harts
  • 9-11 p.m.: Part Time Genius
  • 11 p.m. – midnight: Hell and Gone