Peter Kafka

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Clear Channel Digital Head Evan Harrison Leaves (For Real)

Evan Harrison, who runs digital operations for radio giant Clear Channel, is leaving the company.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Harrison was already supposed to have left Clear Channel at the end of 2010. Last August, Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan told employees, via an internal memo, that Harrison had “shared his desire to pursue new challenges,” and was going to leave at the end of the year.

But there was always some weird cloudiness about that announcement, and Harrison, who had overseen music at AOL prior to joining Clear Channel in 2004, has stayed on a bit longer. Now he really is going, Hogan says, at the end of this month. It’s worth noting that investor Bob Pittman joined Clear Channel as its “chairman of media and entertainment platforms”, focused on digital opportunities, in November.

Earlier this month, Pittman purchased music subscription service Thumbplay, which he plans to use to power Clear Channel’s Web radio stations, which are competing with Pandora.

Here’s Hogan’s second memo announcing Harrison’s departure, distributed internally today:

Good morning, all:

In the aftermath of the Thumbplay announcement, as we prepare to take iHeartRadio to the next level and extend our leadership and vision in the digital space, I wanted to let you know that Evan Harrison, one of the architects of these successes, will be leaving Clear Channel Radio at the end of March.

Since joining our company as leader of Clear Channel Radio Digital, Evan has played a critical role in CCR’s multi-platform strategy. In iHeartRadio, he built a terrific product, one that leads the industry and forms the strong foundation of all CCR’s digital efforts, as well as a great team. Today, Clear Channel has $100 million in digital revenue, 25 million monthly unique visits to our online sites and 24 million downloads of our mobile apps. All of these accomplishments are a tribute to his leadership and skill, and we thank him most sincerely for all he has done.

While there were a number of opportunities for Evan to remain with us, he feels that there are other options he is interested in pursuing and that this is the right time to explore them. We wish him all the best. Moving forward, Bob will continue in his role overseeing the CCRD team.

Please join me in thanking Evan for the significant contributions he has made to advancing the mission of Clear Channel Radio: To successfully leverage all of Clear Channel’s powerful local brands and personalities, and enable our hundreds of millions of listeners to find the music and features they want on any platform they use.

Regards,

John Hogan


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