The iHeart Letter

Now that’s different…


A week or so ago, All Access released a letter from Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler to the entire staff of iHeart Media.

All Access explained “how iHEARTMEDIA is taking proactive steps to curb spending in the wake of coming financial headwinds.

Ready? Here’s the memo:


Although we’ve made great strides in our business and have built a leadership position across all audio platforms thanks to your extraordinary efforts, we are not immune from the headwinds caused by the economic pressures we read about in the headlines every day — and that is forcing us to make tough choices on costs and priorities.  

Our goal is to do everything we can to get through this difficult economic time while protecting our employee base as much as possible. Therefore, we’ll be implementing the following necessary cost savings: 

      •Temporarily suspending the 401(k) match starting in your next pay period and for future months until the advertising marketplace improves. Please note that any contributions made so far this year will not be affected. 

      •We will only be backfilling mission critical roles.

      •Stopping or reducing all discretionary spending, including non-essential T&E, overtime, outside vendor spend, temporary contractors, etc.”

Since the cost of maintaining and flying private air planes is thousands of times more expensive than the alternative, Rich and I will no longer use the corporate plane. In fact, we’ll sell it. That should save more than a few jobs. There really is no good reason, beyond ego, for us not to fly on commercial craft as we ask you to.

And, since we typically stay in the most expensive hotels in the cities we visit, we’re making that a giant NO-NO as well, so you may see us at the Holiday Inn Express, checking in right behind you.

We’re also stopping any executive use of corporate credit cards and reimbursements. From now on, we’ll live on the same per diem we dictate to you. Talk about a sacrifice!

Finally, as a gesture to being team players as we ask you to be, we are returning our 2020, 2021 and 2022 bonuses, and stopping 2023 bonuses no matter how the year turns out financially.

And, we’re also cutting our compensation to the average iHeart pays our rank and file station employees. That means we’ll average what we pay all full-time employees – which we will now define as working at least 25 hours per week, and which excludes all management – and that will be our pay this year.

It’s no big deal. We’re multi-millionaires many times over, have been awarded millions of shares of our stock at super cheap prices, and heck, it just feels so good to act like members of our team.

We should have done this years ago. It feels great!


That doesn’t sound like Bob and Rich?

Ok, ok. OK!

The part in red is NOT part of that memo asking for team sacrifice.

I made it up.

In the hopes of keeping iHeart healthy in these rough economic times…