iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK:IHRTQ) and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO) announced just before the Christmas holidays that they have reached an agreement on the material terms to fully separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.’s business from iHeartMedia, which currently owns 89.1% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.’s outstanding common stock.
The separation is expected to occur in conjunction with, and is subject to, iHeartMedia’s emergence from its ongoing restructuring process. The material terms of the separation are outlined in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.’s Form 8-K, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, December 17, 2018.
Effective upon iHeartMedia’s emergence, William Eccleshare will become Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. William Eccleshare, who currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International, has deep experience in creating value for advertisers across the out-of-home industry. He joined Clear Channel International in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role, in which he is responsible for overseeing CCI’s business operations in 22 countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America. Mr. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead Clear Channel International as part of his new role.
Scott Wells will continue to leadClear Channel Outdoor America as CEO, driving innovation and a customer-centric focus at the business. He will (perhaps surprisingly) report to William Eccleshare.
Until the company exits the restructuring process, Bob Pittman CEO and Rich Bressler President and Chief Financial Officer, will continue their current leadership roles for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
William Eccleshare will also be a member of the new Board of Directors of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., which will be announced prior to the actual separation. He told us ” “The announcement is great news for CCOH and gives us the opportunity to continue to invest in the transformation of Out of Home. Under this new structure, we will have access to the resources to drive the business forward and onto further success. I am delighted to be leading the strategic development of an independent CCOH. It is an exciting time for the Out of Home sector and this is a fantastic opportunity to build on this year’s strong growth.”
Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. and current CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. Told us “This announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense, and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions. Although both businesses are powerful advertising platforms, they each have valuable but different touch points within the advertising community and pursuing separate, highly-targeted strategies will unlock their full potential as freestanding companies“.
“William Eccleshare has a long, successful track record at Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., and throughout his career in the advertising industry, and has played an instrumental role in driving growth across CCOH’s business, especially in digital. Scott Wells will continue his successful leadership of CCOA, fostering deep relationships with advertising partners and growing the company’s offerings in exciting areas such as programmatic. With these strong leaders and CCOH’s creative, innovative and dedicated team, the future standalone company will be very well positioned for future growth and success.”
Clear Channel Outdoor Holding’s current leadership and Board of Directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and Board will assume their responsibilities.