iHeartMedia announced today it is modernizing the company as it enters the new decade, leveraging its half a billion dollars of investments in technology, including investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), to support a new organizational structure for its Markets Group, led by Markets Group President Greg Ashlock and Hartley Adkins, newly appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Markets Group.
The company also said it is using technology and AI to lessen repetitive and rote work for its employees, freeing them for more value-added contributions from programming to sales.
Over the last five years, iHeart pointed out that it has continued to focus on innovation with a number of technological advancements and platform acquisitions including Jelli, RadioJar and Stuff Media. iHeart says it is determined to continue to lead in innovation over the rest of the traditional media business.
In the company’s announcement, iHeart CEO Bob Pittman said, “iHeart is the rare example of a major traditional media company that has made the successful transformation into a 21st century media company.” He added, “We are now using our considerable investments in technology to modernize our operations and infrastructure, further setting us apart from traditional media companies; improving our services to our consumers and advertising partners; and enhancing the work environment for our employees.”
According to the announcement, the Markets Group will now be made up of three divisions – Region, Metro and Community – based around common characteristics and needs, like the size of a market and its relationship to advertising partners. The divisions include:
The Region Division, led by Division Presidents Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopeck, includes the company’s largest markets, like New York and Los Angeles.
The Metro Division, led by Division Presidents Tom McConnell, Linda Byrd and Tony Coles, includes markets that are still large but not the size of the Region markets.
The Community Division, led by Division Presidents Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau and Dan Lankford, includes markets that are smaller and tend to focus on the needs of one community and one common geographic area for advertisers.
iHeart also said today that it is moving to Centers of Excellence – where one particular discipline is consolidated in one location to provide concentrated resources for the entire company. iHeart used its recently announced Nashville Center of Excellence, its second digital headquarters, as an example; Nashville houses digital services for iHeart’s markets as well as innovation for its digital products. Other Centers of Excellence around the country will center around areas including programming, national advertising, podcasting, the entertainment industry, Latino content and others.
iHeart is the number one audio company in America by reach, according to Nielsen and has built out other successful platforms over recent years, including podcasting and digital radio. In the ad community it has gotten significant attention for its SmartAudio suite of targeting and analytics products, which it says will be enhanced by these moves. The company employs 12,500 people in over 150 markets across the country.