CBS Radio Shuffles Execs, Goodman Targets Digital

CBS Radio In a move that reflects the growing importance of digital revenues to radio's bottom line, CBS Radio is reorganizing its top management, the radio group's president and CEO Dan Mason announced earlier this week.

 

David Goodman, the head of CBS Radio's digital media group, will now focus exclusively on digital strategy, including its close alignment with AOL Radio and the rollout of a new video platform. Previously, he was also the boss of its integrated-marketing division, but will give up this area of responsibility. Five years ago, as the executive vice president of marketing for Infinity Broadcasting, Goodman was responsible for forging the CBS alliance with AOL Radio. Earlier this year, AOL handed over responsibility for ad sales to CBS Radio, in addition to a content-sharing agreement.

Also, Michael Weiss will take up the leadership role at the Altitude Group, CBS Radio's integrated marketing and sales force created by CBS Radio to focus on big national advertisers. (It was previously known as Infinity Promotions, then CBS Radio Integrated Solutions). Rich Lobel, an executive vice president with the Altitude Group, will help manage local and national sales at the digital media group, effectively making him a liaison between the two divisions.

The news of these appointments comes not long after Clear Channel Radio announced its own top-level reorganization, including new digital roles. Last week, president and CEO John Hogan promoted Evan Harrison to president of its online music and radio division. The creation of the new position reflects Clear Channel's high hopes for its online business, which is expected to become a major revenue stream over the next decade.

In November 2005, the company poached Harrison from AOL, where he was boss of the music division. Since then, he has overseen the revamping of hundreds of station Web sites and the creation of an array of new online features including video offerings. Most recently, he supervised the rollout of new on-demand services, widgets for Clear Channel audio and video, and a partnership with a network of freelance video producers to help local advertisers get into the new medium.

Online is one of the few bright spots for radio, although its contribution to total revenue remains relatively small. In the first half of 2008, the Radio Advertising Bureau's off-air ad category--which includes online--grew 12% to $889 million. At this rate, the RAB claims that off-air revenue should exceed $2 billion by the end of the year.

Although this is welcome news for radio, the first half of the year contributed only 9% of total revenues. What's more, online provides only part of off-air revenues, which also include experiential marketing. The RAB did not release a specific figure for online revenues.

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