Published: Fri, March 16, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

IHeart radio, owner of 6 Valley stations, files for bankruptcy

IHeart radio, owner of 6 Valley stations, files for bankruptcy

Pharrell Williams (left) and Shay Haley of N.E.R.D perform during the iHeartRadio Music Awards. In recent years, the company has been gobbling up stations and transforming itself into a radio and music streaming empire called iHeart Media, with more than 850 stations from coast to coast.

The radio company iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday.

The company made the announcement Wednesday, saying it reached an agreement that will reduce iHeartMedia's debt by more than $10 billion. The company said that it has enough cash on hand to fund the business during the bankruptcy process. With a total of 858 radio stations around the United States iHeartMedia has over 20,000 employees (as of the last reported number.) First founded back in 1972 the company was rebranded as iHeartMedia, Inc in 2008.

The IHeartMedia bankruptcy will certainly have ripples here in the Tennessee Valley.

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What's interesting is that the long-time radio honcho also operates iHeartRadio's music streaming service, which hasn't been able to compete with culture mavens like Spotify and Pandora.

Speaking on today's filing, Crystall added that despite iHeartMedia's best efforts, it seemingly had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

And Radio + Business Report wrote this week, "The judge overseeing Cumulus Media's Chapter 11 reorganization petition will hold a determine whether or not the company can move forward with two specific incentive compensation programs one group of lenders has formally objected to".

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Its most recent full-year annual revenue in 2016 was $6.27 billion with a loss of $296 million.

According to Seth Crystall, an analyst at Debtwire, the filing won't likely impact the company's day-to-day operations. "Private equity accelerated these trends and added a mountain of new debt", Crain continued. In San Francisco, it has seven stations, including Wild 94.9, 106 KMEL and 103.7, an '80s channel.

"A couple of years ago they hired Bob Pittman". "We have transformed a traditional broadcast radio company into a true 21st century multi-platform, data-driven, digitally-focused media and entertainment powerhouse with unparalleled reach, products and services now available on more than 200 platforms, and the iHeartRadio master brand that ties together our nearly 850 radio stations, our digital platform, our live events, and our 129 million social followers".

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