Clear Channel's Hogan To Retire, Co. Faces Financial Challenges

John Hogan, the chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the nation’s largest broadcast radio group, announced his intention to retire on Monday.
 
Hogan was a senior vice president at Jacor Communications, a sizable radio broadcaster, when Clear Channel Radio acquired the company in 1999. In 2001 he was named chief operating officer at Clear Channel Radio, then president and CEO the following year.

He led the broadcaster through the complex, sometimes rocky transaction to take its parent company Clear Channel Communications private in 2006-2008. In February 2012 he was named chairman and CEO of the rebranded company, now known as Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. After his retirement, he will continue to hold the title of chairman emeritus.
 
Meanwhile, Clear Channel Communications chairman and CEO Bob Pittman has renewed his contract with the company for five more years and will also take over the role of CEO for the radio division, sharing responsibility with Clear Channel President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Bressler. It’s rumored that Tom Schurr, president of major market operations, will also receive more authority.
 
Hogan’s departure comes as Clear Channel Communications struggles with a challenging financial situation, including the demands of servicing nearly $18 billion in debt assumed in the transaction to take the company private. In December 2013, Clear Channel revealed plans to push back scheduled repayments in exchange for higher interest rates, prompting concern among Wall Street analysts about the company’s financial position.
 
The company's interest expense increased 7% from $1.15 billion in the first nine months of 2012 to $1.23 billion in the first nine months of 2013. The company posted a net loss of $297.7 million in the first nine months of 2013 -- up from a $233.2 million loss in the same period of 2012.

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