Bob Pittman is a veteran media executive and Chairman & CEO of iHeartMedia.
He was the inaugural Media Visionary award recipient from Adweek in 2013, and has been referred to as a ‘Jack of all media’.
Bob Pittman: Career beginnings & MTV success
While still at school, Bob Pittman became a radio announcer at the age of 15 to earn money for flying lessons. He went on to be an announcer before programming at stations including Pittsburgh’s WMAQ AM 670 and WKQX FM and NBC flagship WNBC (AM) in New York when he was 23 years old. Pittman has been a pilot for almost 40 years, with more than 6,000 flight hours logged.
Pittman is one of the co-founders of MTV, becoming EVP & COO in 1983. He then moved on to Time Warner Enterprises, serving as President and CEO from 1990 to 1995 as well as CEO of Six Flags Entertainment.
In 1996, Pittman joined AOL Networks as President and CEO of AOL Networks, later becoming President and COO of America Online Inc. After AOL merged with Time Warner in 2001, he became Co-COO and later COO of the combined AOL Time Warner before leaving in 2002. In 2003, Pittman co-founded Pilot Group LLC, a private investment firm based in New York.
Bob Pittman: Clear Channel & iHeartMedia
In 2010, Bob Pittman joined media company Clear Channel as an investor and Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms. He was named CEO in 2011 and Chairman in 2013.
Clear Channel became iHeartMedia, Inc. in September 2014. In the same year, Pittman extended his contract for an additional 5-year term.
In 2018, iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company restructured in 2019, separating Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. from iHeartMedia, to create two independent public companies. Pittman, alongside Rich Bressler, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc., extended their contracts by four years.
As a response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Pittman gave up his salary from April 2020 for the rest of the year.Music Business Worldwide