iHeartMedia Fourth-Quarter Loss Narrows, Rich Bressler Adds COO Title

Bob Pittman Executive Suite - H 2013
Dustin Cohen

Bob Pittman Executive Suite - H 2013

The former Clear Channel, led by CEO Bob Pittman, says the added title will "better reflect his actual role and responsibilities."

Radio giant iHeartMedia, the former Clear Channel, on Thursday reported improved fourth-quarter financials and said it has given president and CFO Rich Bressler the added title of COO "to better reflect his actual role and responsibilities since joining the company in August 2013."

Bressler is a former CFO of Viacom and what was then known as AOL Time Warner, among other things.

iHeartMedia's fourth-quarter revenue rose 3 percent to $1.8 billion. But the company posted a loss of $50 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $302 million. Excluding non-controlling interest, the loss attributable to the company amounted to $68.1 million, down from a year-ago loss of $309.2 million.

The narrowed loss "was due primarily to higher operating income, resulting primarily from higher revenue and the impact of equity in losses of non-consolidated affiliates and a loss on extinguishment of debt recognized in the fourth quarter of 2013," the firm said. "These increases were partially offset by higher interest expense in the fourth quarter of 2014 as compared to the prior year."

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Operating income before depreciation, amortization and noncash compensation expense, another profitability metric, rose 6 percent to $562 million.

Said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman: "Throughout 2014, we further strengthened iHeartMedia’s position as the leading media and entertainment company in the digital age — building on our one-of-a-kind multi-platform assets that deliver unparalleled reach, scale and impact. We continue to develop powerful marketing solutions for our advertising and brand partners while providing the most live entertainment — with more content and more events in more places on more devices – to the industry’s most engaged audiences, wherever they are."

He added: "We once again outperformed the broadcast radio market last year, a testament to our ability to attract advertising dollars to our platform. At iHeartRadio, we recently surpassed 60 million registered users, growing faster than any other digital radio or music service, and our social media presence is stronger than ever with more than 70 million social followers."

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In his outlook, Pittman said: "We look forward to more progress in 2015, as we continue to run our businesses more efficiently than ever and launch innovative initiatives across our unique mix of broadcast radio, digital, mobile, social and event platforms."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai