75 Rock: A tower of power

March 23, 2011, 1:00 PM UTC

There’s no sign in the lobby. There’s no web page. There’s no clue — until you arrive on the 23rd floor of 75 Rockefeller Plaza — what Pilot Group is. Sure, it’s the private equity shop of Bob Pittman, former COO of AOL Time Warner (TWX) (AOL)  (parent of Fortune’s publisher). But it’s also a hostel for former Masters of the Media Universe. “Come stay at my place,” Pittman, Pilot’s chief, tells pals who’ve been fired or are just burned out, offering free office space. Tom Freston was there in 2006 after being ousted as CEO of Viacom (VIA). “It’s comfortable,” he says, “and everybody loves Bob.” John Sykes arrived after leaving a top job at MTV in 2008 and runs a media advisory business from there. Lisa Gersh, former head of strategic initiatives at NBC News, is the newest tenant; hubby Rich Bressler, ex-CFO of Time Warner, camps there when he is in town.

Pittman’s hospitality has its pluses: Thanks to Bressler, a Clear Channel director, Pittman now spearheads that company’s digital strategy. Pittman has put $500 million into new-media businesses, including Zynga, Daily Candy, and the Huffington Post, whose co-founder, Ken Lerer, briefly resided on 23 pre-HuffPo. With AOL’s acquisition of HuffPo, Pittman will make 10 times his investment. Conveniently, Pilot is also home to high-end tequila maker Casa Dragones. “Anything big that happens,” says co-founder Bertha González, “there’s lots of tequila.”