Clear Channel Taps Sykes For 'Entertainment,' Reunites With Former MTVer Pittman
Close on the heels of a major rebranding, Clear Channel Entertainment and Media (formerly Clear Channel Radio) has named music industry veteran John Sykes to the new role of president, Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises.
In this role, Sykes will be responsible for leading Clear Channel’s push into TV and live events, as part of its ongoing effort to expand beyond broadcast radio and transform itself into a multiplatform digital content company.
He pointed to Clear Channel’s recent success with the iHeartRadio festival as a model for future live event and entertainment projects under his leadership.
Sykes previously served as president of VH-1, where he led the network’s relaunch in 1994, as well as president of network development for MTV Networks. There, he worked on the network’s original launch team with Bob Pittman, now CEO of Clear Channel parent company CC Media Holdings.
Sykes’ lengthy career also includes stints as president of Chrysalis Records and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting, which later became CBS Radio.
More recently, Sykes and Pittman also worked together at the Pilot Group, which they co-founded in 2008; Pittman then recruited Sykes as a consultant for Clear Channel in early 2011, foreshadowing Pittman’s own rise to the top spot in October of last year.
Sykes is the first major outside hire for Pittman, who has also put his stamp on the radio division with a number of moves intended to enable more coordination between its 850 stations around the country. This included the creation of a new national programming platforms team and new brand management team, which are expected to exert more centralized control over formats and content.