Radio Giant iHeartMedia Files Bankruptcy Plan To Reduce Debt

iHeartMedia Files for Bankruptcy

iHeartMedia files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said the capital structure of the company, which has reported year-to-year revenue growth for the past 18 consecutive quarters, has been burdened by a heavy debt load. Wendy Goldberg is iHeartMedia's executive VP-communications. The firm has struggled through years of losses and flat sales against streaming rivals such as Pandora and Spotify.

"The LBO put this massive debt on the balance sheet that the company was supposed to grow into", a lawyer for iHeartMedia told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur at a hearing in Houston on Thursday.

IHeart's Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. unit, which is 90 percent owned by the bankrupt company, wasn't included in the filing.

When reached by Daily Report, an iHeartMedia spokeswoman says the company will continue to operate business as usual, "including all of our stations".

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The company had 14,300 employees at the end of 2016, according to its most recent annual report. The company specializes in radio, digital, outdoor, mobile, social, live events, on-demand entertainment and information services for local communities, and uses its unparalleled national reach to target both nationally and locally on behalf of its advertising partners. It also produces syndicated radio programs that feature "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest and political personalities Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. It's $20 billion in debt makes it the largest bankruptcy in the a year ago, and around the 30th largest ever.

The Texas-based company said in a statement dated Wednesday that it was confident it had enough cash on hand to stay operational and that it had reached understandings to halve its debt.

This filing comes following a proposal February 26 by Liberty Media Corp's John Malone of buying 40% in the restructured iHeartMedia group at a price of $1.16 billion.

Radio conglomerate iHeartMedia is seeking bankruptcy protection as part of an agreement with its lenders to reduce debt it took on to become a privately held company.

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