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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

#MoversandShakers #BernieWeiss President of iHeartMedia New York #Author of #AceIt Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know @GaroNazarianDDS #cosmopolitandental #loveyoursmile

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Bernie Weiss is President of iHeartMedia New York. After starting out selling radio advertising for Power 105.1, he rose quickly through the sales and sales management ranks of iHeartMedia, America’s #1 audio company, and is now overseeing some of the most prestigious radio station brands in the world. Under his leadership, iHeartMedia New York became the City’s top-ranked audio company by revenue.

Over the course of twenty years, Bernie coached hundreds of salespeople – rookies and veterans – many of whom went on to become sales superstars and rose to leadership positions themselves. Bernie teaches a systematic, process driven sales style that follows a ten-step sales framework, which he covers - using real-life examples, analogies and stories - in his first book “ACE IT – How Sales Champions Win New Business,” highly recommended by Whom You Know earlier this year.
He lives in New York City, still plays tennis once a week and continues to fail in his quest to lower his golf handicap.  Peachy Deegan interviewed Bernie for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What should everyone know about iHeartMedia that they don’t know yet?

Bernie Weiss: Our monthly reach in the U.S. is higher than that of Google and Facebook - 273 million Americans. And that it is very likely that some of the favorite podcasts they are listening to are iHeart podcasts. We are the #1 podcast publisher in the U.S., with over 425 million downloads per month.

How did iHeartMedia get its name?

Our digital brand “iHeartRadio”, which during its launch phase became the fastest growing app in the US, eventually achieved such high brand awareness that our CEO Bob Pittman decided to change the company name accordingly – from “Clear Channel Radio” to “iHeartMedia”.

What qualities make a successful salesperson?

Discipline, Curiosity, Empathy. There is no doubt in my mind that - assuming someone possesses certain basic traits – sales can be learned. Sales aces are process driven - they excel when they figure out how to win new business and then replicate their approach over and over.

What are the advantages audio has over other formats like video?

Radio is not about music, talk shows or news – that’s tactics. Radio is about companionship. Our job is to keep people company. We are with you in that empty seed in the car or sitting on the counter talking to you while you are cooking or brushing your teeth. With TV, it’s clear to the viewer that it’s a one- to-many channel. Audio, on the other hand, feels more like a phone call from someone. It’s more intimate and more trustworthy.

Was writing ACE IT what you expected for both the process and the result?

The writing of the manuscript and finding of a publisher took less time than I thought it would. I didn’t realize, however, that that’s only half the work. Reviewing edits, overseeing graphics, writing the book summary, organizing advance praise quotes, promoting the book – it adds up. I am very happy with the result and the feedback and reviews I have been getting though.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?

I find everyone who is trying to be the best at what they do inspiring. In sports, arts, or any other profession.

What are you proudest of and why?

That many of former colleagues I was fortunate enough to coach and mentor went on to become sales superstars and rose to leadership positions themselves.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?

I would love to work for a global company one day. Dealing and understanding different cultures and habits would add an interesting layer to the work.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?

I have a few plaques, but they are in a box somewhere in the basement.

What one word best describes you and why?

Restless. I think you can always improve things and get better. Standing still means going backwards.

What do you take your sense of identity from?

From all the experiences I have made throughout my life.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?

The corner of Rector Street and Broadway in the Financial District. You are literally looking at Trinity Church, its cemetery including Alexander Hamilton’s tombstone, One World Trade Center and the beautiful 111 Broadway building. New and old New York at its best.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?

Ari Soho for clothing and Three Lives & Company for books

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?

My wife happens to be the best salesperson in the world. Doubt this would end well though…

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career and what mentors have influenced you the most?

My old mentor in Austria told me that to have a successful career in the media industry one needs to know how to sell advertising. Simple advice, of course, but it focused my mind for many years.

What is your favorite drink?

It’s called “Radicle”, and they serve it at Crown Shy on Pine Street.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?

Nothing funny every happens to me at a cocktail party.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?

Momofuku Ko

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature?

“The Power Broker” by Robert Caro is a masterpiece. You learn as much about Manhattan as about Robert Moses, one of New York’s most controversial geniuses.

What is your favorite tv show and why?

I can watch an episode of Seinfeld every night until the rest of my life and will laugh out loud every single time. And Ted Lasso. It’s brilliant – and about soccer.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Casino Royale. Best Bond movie of all. It stayed true to Ian Fleming’s first novel.

What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?

That people are wired differently. They are not like a row of townhouses that look the same. They are much more like the skyline of Manhattan, with buildings of all different sizes and shapes. The job of a leader and manager is to understand what makes each team member tick and to coach and motivate them accordingly.

Who would you like to be for a day and why?

Rafael Nadal on the Sunday of a French Open tennis final

What would you like to be asked in an interview that you never have been asked, and how would you answer it?

Question: What is the most underrated album of all time? Answer: Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden”

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?

The corner of Rector Street and Broadway…

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?

New York City Marathon 2017

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?

See a show at the Bowery Ballroom

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?

Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think it would be a lot of fun.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?

Paul McCartney at the then new Citifield – three hours in the pouring rain, but the best show I have ever seen.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?

I have a soft spot for animals and am doing what I can to help animal shelters.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan?

Underrated: The New York Historical Society. Their speakers are incredible and the venue is amazing. Overrated: New York pizza. I have found great pizza in many different places. Joe’s Pizza, though, is not easy to beat.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite​ column and what do you like about it?

I have to go with “Decadent Desserts” in the Cuisine and Drinks section. As an Austrian, I grew up with decadent desserts.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?

There is nothing else. You got me to share everything. Phew…

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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