Amidst a weekend of protest and outrage fueled by the death of George Floyd, iHeartMedia leaders spoke out. “We stand with the Black community and the country,” wrote Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Rich Bressler, the company’s President, CFO and COO in a message to iHeart staff Sunday. “We have a special responsibility to help our listeners and bring the country closer together, and we must be able to help our audiences create real and positive change.”
In addressing how “real and positive change” is possible, the note asked staff to consider: [W]hat do [audiences] need to hear from us right now, and how do we deliver the messages that will unify? How do we give them the outlet they need to share their views, their ideas, their concerns and their pain? And perhaps most importantly, how can we use all our platforms to enable all voices to be heard?
iHeart acknowledged the difficulty of finding answers to those questions, but said they know they can find them “if we have a clear goal of working together with our listeners to bring people together.” iHeart encouraged everyone across the company to “think about ways we can hear all voices and create permanent change to help our country heal.”
SMI is proud to partner with iHeartMedia and has taken its message to heart. As we think about what we can do to create lasting change, we echo our own support for the Black community.
“The death of George Floyd has once again highlighted the inequalities our nation faces,” SMI CEO Jeff small wrote in a message to staff. “The events that have followed are scary and are the result of an oppressed race that needs action. We need to be part of that action by standing against race inequalities, calling on our families and friends to speak out against these atrocities and standing for the Black community. Treating all humans equally is how our country can move forward and move together.”
In light of recent tragedies, it is clear our country has much work to do regarding race relations. Only by working together—not only as individuals but as companies and communities—can we begin to create the drastic and multi-level change needed to move our country toward greater equality and justice.