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Tom Poleman Named iHeartMedia Chief Programming Officer

Variety logo Variety 6/5/2017 Jem Aswad

iHeartMedia announced Monday that Tom Poleman has been named its Chief Programming Officer, effective immediately. Under a new long-term agreement, Poleman will also remain president of iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group and will continue to report to iHeartMedia chairman/CEO Bob Pittman.

In addition to co-producing iHeartMedia’s major national marque events including the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, the iHeartCountry Festival, iHeart80s Party, the iHeartSummer ’17 Weekend by AT&T and iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, Poleman and his team will continue to oversee programming and music strategy, talent development and artist relations for iHeartMedia’s more than 850 radio stations. He will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program.

“No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman,” Pittman said in a statement. “He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multiplatform company. I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”

However, the announcement comes at a challenging time for the company, as it struggles under the weight of a $20 billion debt load, layoffs at properties across the country and the possibility of impending bankruptcy.

Poleman was named President of iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group in August 2011, where he was tasked with unifying iHeartMedia’s programming initiatives and capabilities and magnifying the company’s size and scale.  He previously served as Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia and oversaw programming and marketing for all iHeartMedia radio properties in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston and Providence. Poleman’s extensive programming background includes overseeing Z100/New York, one of the most successful pop stations in the history of the medium. He has also led programming at Top 40 radio stations in New Haven, Connecticut and Houston.

“From the moment I stepped foot into WVBR at Cornell University in 1983, I knew I’d found my passion,” said Poleman. “I’ve seen a lot in the ensuing 35 years, but nothing has made me more excited for our industry’s future than iHeartMedia’s continued evolution as a leader in media and entertainment across multiple platforms. We have the best stations, events and media assets in the world, including our amazing personalities and programmers. It’s an honor to be part of this amazing team.”

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