The Ten Most Interesting Episodes Of Bob Pittman's 'Math & Magic' Podcast

By iHeartRadio

March 15, 2024

In a world where marketing noise is deafening, how do the savviest marketers and business visionaries consistently rise above the cacophony? The answer lies at the intersection of math—the strategic framework—and magic—the creative spark. Welcome to Math and Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing, the captivating podcast hosted by Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia.

The podcast, which returned this month, has dozens of riveting episodes and in them, Pittman delves into the minds of today's most ingenious disruptors and compelling storytellers. These luminaries share their secrets, their triumphs, and their occasional missteps, all while navigating the dynamic landscape of marketing. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer, an aspiring entrepreneur, or simply curious about the alchemy behind successful campaigns, Math and Magic promises to be your backstage pass to the magic show.

Every episode of Math and Magic is filled with insight and takeaways, but some are especially interesting. Here are the top ten episodes of Math and Magic.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Few stories embody the quintessential American Dream quite like that of Gary Vaynerchuk. Hailing from the USSR, Gary's earliest memories involve a cramped studio apartment in Queens, shared by his family of eight. But Gary's entrepreneurial spirit ignited early: at the tender age of seven, he launched his own lemonade stand—a humble beginning that set the stage for a remarkable journey. From selling wine online during his formative years to the meteoric rise of VaynerMedia, Gary's path has been one of relentless hustle and strategic vision. In this episode, discover why Gary draws inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld's creative process for crafting compelling ads. Uncover the sage advice he'd impart to his 20-year-old self, and learn why his mom remains his unwavering hero. But that’s not all—Gary shares tantalizing glimpses of what lies ahead including a potential bid for the New York Jets.

Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi, a name synonymous with rock anthems and timeless melodies, has etched his legacy into the very fabric of music history. His songs resonate across generations, uniting listeners in a harmonious chorus, even those born long after their initial radio debut. Such enduring success is a rarity in the ever-evolving music industry. But Jon is no ordinary artist. He’s a visionary, a creative force that transcends mere stardom. Beyond the stage, he has embarked on diverse ventures, each touched by his unique magic. From entrepreneurship to philanthropy, Jon leaves an indelible mark wherever he treads. Hampton Water, once a family jest, now stands tall as a premier rosé brand, thanks to Jon’s Midas touch. And then there’s Soul Kitchen, a groundbreaking community restaurant—a haven for those in need. Jon’s secret to timelessness? It lies in his unwavering authenticity. He dances to his own rhythm, unfazed by passing trends, and remains true to himself. Live from Miami at the POSSIBLE conference, Jon shares his wisdom with Bob, reminding us all that staying genuine is the key to everlasting relevance.

Scooter Braun

In this captivating episode, the first of the podcast, Pittman delves into the life of Scooter Braun, the relentless entrepreneur, investor, and entertainment executive. Discover how Braun's audacious decision to drop out of college led to a fateful bet on himself—and a rising star named Justin Bieber. Uncover the profound impact of music mogul David Geffen on Braun’' journey, and learn why embracing a "burn the ships" mindset is essential for identifying extraordinary talent.

Bobbi Brown

When Bobbi Brown couldn’t find the major she desired, she took matters into her own hands and created her own major at Emerson College. Refusing to conform to the prevailing styles of her time, she pioneered a more natural makeup look. And when the makeup products she longed for were nowhere to be found, she embarked on a journey of creation. Bob and Bobbi delve into the secrets behind launching an insanely successful brand. Bobbi shares valuable insights for young entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of patience before seeking that elusive Series A funding. But that’s not all—Bobbi’s ventures extend far beyond makeup. She’s opening a hotel, immersing herself in the wellness industry, and exploring uncharted territory in the makeup world. And don’t miss her latest endeavor: the captivating iHeart podcast, Beyond the Beauty with Bobbi Brown.

Charlamagne tha God

Charlamagne tha God, a name that reverberates through the airwaves, commands the attention of millions each week as the co-host of the nationally syndicated The Breakfast Club morning show. But his influence extends far beyond the microphone. Beyond the radio waves, Charlamagne wears many hats. He’s a New York Times bestselling author, penning words that resonate with readers worldwide. His unyielding commitment to mental health advocacy sets him apart, and his interviews cut through the noise—no room for celebrity spin here. On this episode, Bob engages in a candid conversation with Charlamagne. They delve into the roots of resilience: a simple piece of advice from his mom that propelled him beyond the confines of his childhood. Authenticity is Charlamagne’s compass; he presents his true self to the world, unfiltered and unapologetic. And let’s not forget the heartbeat of culture: hip-hop. For Charlamagne, it’s not just a genre; it’s the pulse of pop culture itself. But there’s more—a nod to the power of podcasting, where intimacy thrives in the audio realm, surpassing the confines of television screens.

David Zaslav

In this captivating episode, Bob engages in a conversation with David Zaslav, the CEO and President of Warner Bros. Discovery. Zaslav’s journey is nothing short of remarkable—a tale of transforming a modest network comprising just three channels (Discovery, Animal Planet, and TLC) into an international media powerhouse. David’s insights are invaluable. He firmly believes that brands should not cater to everyone, emphasizing the power of niche appeal. As the media landscape evolves, he strategically positions Warner Bros. Discovery for a future where “people can watch anything on any platform.” But it’s not all business. David’s formative years on the high school tennis court taught him the art of outworking the competition. And when it comes to entertainment, he reveals a preference: Shark Week over the adorable Puppy Bowl! Tune in as David Zaslav shares his wisdom, weaving together the threads of media, strategy, and passion.

Julie Rieger

Julie Rieger, a self-proclaimed data nerd, defies the stereotype that her passion is solely about numbers. Her journey is a tapestry of innovation and bold thinking. As the former President, Chief Data Strategist, and Head of Media at 20th Century Fox, she has left an indelible mark. In this episode, Julie unveils her unconventional approach. She scours tweets for specific words—not just for sentiment, but to uncover purchasing intent. Her strategy extends beyond the digital realm: buying pages in The New York Times and leaving them blank—a brilliant move that speaks volumes. And then there’s her intriguing side gig: Ghost Photographer. Julie Rieger dances between data and the ethereal, proving that creativity knows no bounds. Listen as she shares her secrets, revealing how she weaves magic into the fabric of media strategy.

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw, a name etched in the annals of journalism, didn’t amass a collection of Peabodies, Emmys, and even a Presidential Medal of Freedom by idly resting on his laurels. His journey is one of relentless pursuit and unwavering dedication. From the humble confines of a radio station in Omaha, Tom charted his course upward. But it wasn’t mere ascent; it was a climb fueled by passion and tenacity. The Watergate scandal, a seismic event in American history, transformed not only the nation but also every journalist into an investigative seeker. Tom Brokaw embodied this spirit, unafraid to delve deep and ask the tough questions. Saying “yes” to opportunities became his mantra. Curiosity was his compass. And when the Berlin Wall crumbled, he stood at the precipice of history, capturing the essence of a world in flux. But Tom’s impact extended beyond headlines. He coaxed a generation of quiet war heroes to break their silence, sharing their harrowing experiences—their sacrifices etched into the fabric of time. Hear what Tom Brokaw, a beacon of truth and storyteller for the ages, had to say when he chatted with Bob.

Suzy Deering

Suzy Deering, a force to be reckoned with, has been honing her business acumen since her second-grade days. Her journey has been nothing short of remarkable. She has wielded her expertise to mold influential brands like Verizon and eBay into powerhouses and now, she stands at the helm as the Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Ford. Suzy’s wealth of experience, particularly in transitioning landline customers to wireless services, informs her innovative marketing approach in the realm of electric cars. But it’s more than just marketing—it's a lifestyle. Your car isn’t merely a means of transportation; it’s an extension of who you are, a statement of your values and aspirations. In the ever-evolving landscape of automotive technology, Suzy Deering’s vision transcends the mundane. She’s steering Ford toward a future where electric vehicles seamlessly blend into our lives, shaping not just how we move but how we express ourselves. 

Kenneth Feld

The sixth season premiere episode was a great one featuring Kenneth Feld, a maestro of spectacle who understands the pulse of audiences like no other. As the Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, he stands as an acclaimed visionary in the realm of live, family-friendly theatrics. His journey is one of legacy and passion. Inheriting the reins from his father, who laid the foundation in 1967 with the discovery of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Kenneth Feld has woven the company’s fabric with unwavering commitment. Core principles resonate at the heart of Feld Entertainment: family-first values and an unwavering belief in the power of live entertainment to unite people. He champions the magic of shared experiences, where laughter, wonder, and awe transcend boundaries. For him, it’s not just about shows; it’s about weaving the threads of humanity together under the spotlight.

Whether you listen to one of these episodes of Math & Magic or any of the rest, you won't go away empty-handed. As host Bob Pittman said ahead of the latest season "We're here to mine our guests’ exceptional real world experiences for pearls of wisdom. We're looking for that special and rare combination of the math – the strategy and analytics – and the magic – that elusive and creative spark – that together can pull any idea, campaign or business venture into reality." New episodes come out on Thursdays.

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