FOR RELEASE: July 30, 2012

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., July 30 – The Media Institute, a nonprofit non-partisan independent education and research foundation focusing on communications policy issues, announced today that Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel, will chair a newly formed Advisory Council for Free Speech Week (FSW), the country’s premier celebration of free speech in its many forms.  The next Free Speech Week will take place Oct. 22-28, 2012.

Free Speech Week is an annual event celebrated during the third week of October.  Companies, nonprofit groups, educational institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate by conducting their own free-speech activities during that week.

Though now independent, Free Speech Week was created in 2005 by The Media Institute, which continues to promote FSW and manage its website (

“Freedom of speech is the most basic right in our democracy, and a critically important part of the fabric of public debate,” said Bob Pittman.  “Raising awareness of freedom of speech is a worthy and important initiative, and I am happy to join with The Media Institute to increase national awareness of Free Speech Week and its role as the country’s premier annual celebration of free speech.”

“Bob Pittman and his colleagues on the FSW Advisory Council promise to take Free Speech Week to a whole new level of public awareness and participation,” said Media Institute President Patrick Maines.  “We are thrilled that someone with Bob’s background and knowledge has offered to help us further the understanding of free speech and the critical role it plays as a bedrock of the American value system,” he said.

Bob Pittman is a media innovator who has made a significant impact in a number of industries and companies.  Prior to joining Clear Channel, he was a founding member of Pilot Group, LLC, a New York private investment firm.  Pittman also led the team that created MTV and has served as CEO or chief operating officer of MTV Networks, America Online, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, Time Warner Enterprises, and AOL Time Warner.

Pittman will be joined on the FSW Advisory Council by several other leaders in the media and entertainment industries to be announced shortly, who will work with him to promote Free Speech Week.

The Free Speech Week website is  The Media Institute website is