Radio, media conglomerate iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy

17 March, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • What's next for Clear Channel as radio owner IHeart files for Chapter 11?

Just last weekend, it hosted the latest edition of the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

iHeartRadio owner iHeartMedia Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy along with some of its units, said it ‍reached the agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt for a balance sheet restructuring, which would reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.

Triggering the voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code is a March 14 agreement in principle with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt, and iHeart's financial sponsors.

The company owns six St. Louis radio stations: 100.3 FM The Beat, Hallelujah 1600 AM, Alt 104.9, KLOU 103.3 FM, 93.7 FM The Bull, and Z-107 FM. "It was something called an LBO or leveraged buyout, where they used debt to buy the company, and then the shareholders and people who buy the bonds have to pay for it".

IHeartMedia has maintained that its radio stations remain popular and vital even as it has introduced apps and negotiated new licensing deals meant to control its royalty payments online.




iHeartMedia says that it has enough cash on hand and will make enough from operations to keep going throughout the bankruptcy.

While certain subsidiaries such as Katz Media and iHeartCommunications have been affected by this announcement, other iHeartMedia properties such as ClearChannel Outdoor (which iHeartMedia has a 90% stake in) did not commence Chapter 11 proceedings. Indeed, the corporate press release that announced the bankruptcy filing acknowledges debt in excess of $10 billion.

The company owns three Springfield stations: Mix 93.1, Kix 100.9 and WHYN NewsRadio 560.

The San Antonio-based company iHeartMedia announced Wednesday that it is working to restructure its debt and that it intends to "maintain business-as-usual operations" during the court proceedings.

The long-awaited move means iHeart Media, America's biggest radio group, will end years of corporate limbo during which its private equity owners and its lenders could not agree on how to solve its huge $20bn debt burden.

"They're not shutting down", Crystall said.

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