iHeart “Prepares for Bankruptcy”

(Source: Bloomberg via Dave Zantow)

IHeart Prepares for Bankruptcy as Soon as This Weekend

Embattled IHeartMedia Inc. is circulating documents for a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this weekend for the biggest U.S. radio broadcaster.

Advisers to some of iHeart’s senior creditors have been shown bankruptcy papers that would be used on the first day of court proceedings, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn’t in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren’t in restricted talks with the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.

A bankruptcy filing is all but certain, with iHeart and creditors each swapping proposals in recent weeks for a consensual restructuring. But pressure is mounting on iHeart after it missed a Feb. 1 interest payment, with a 30-day grace period about to run out. On top of that, the broadcaster on Thursday skipped payments on two more sets of bonds. If the company files without a pre-negotiated restructuring plan in place, the bankruptcy could turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.[…]

Continue reading at Bloomberg…

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8 thoughts on “iHeart “Prepares for Bankruptcy”

  1. Ashley

    I guess I’m in the minority. I was sitting here listening to IHeart owned KFI in Los Angeles (and researching radios) when I ran across this article.

    I don’t doubt that IHeart is a horrible company. I despise what they did to KEIB. But in South Orange County, KFI offers the strongest signal by far. And I like most of their programming lineup (the majority of which is local).

    I don’t know if an IHeart collapse would help or hurt AM radio in general. Can/will the damage they’ve done be reversed? Whatever the outcome, I hope KFT remains intact.

    Reply
  2. DanH

    I remember when I could hear local talk and music shows on the AM broadcast band during the evenings. LOL. These are more rare in radio today than news crews on weekends.

    Reply
  3. Eddie Walden

    “And now we will interrupt these screaming commercials to play a song for you.” Let the giants fall.

    Reply
  4. Tom Servo

    I also agree with ShortwaveGuy. iHeart and Cumulus combined have wrung so much talent and fun from the industry that it’s killed their profits, and now both are paying the price.

    Sadly, I don’t expect bankruptcies to actually “fix” either company. There’s simply too much competition out there to be viable. When you have 80+ signals on AM/FM and limitless choices of streaming, some commercial-free, plus SiriusXM, what’s the appeal in an analog-era commercial-ridden jukebox format?

    Small and mid-size city radio will continue to thrive under the dark skies of corporate radio because it does what radio’s always been best at: being local. Even when they use out of market talent, they keep the local school games on, and sponsor charity events, and even do live remotes still. They also disseminate news and weather information that the corporate biggies long forgot about.

    At this point, I’d really rather we just embrace the British model and have one brand and one national format for each format in all the major cities. That’s basically what we have now, with only the illusion of localism. Heck, even the contests are now national in scope!

    At least it make more sense if, say, iHeart had a KISS FM CHR in every market they’re in, and a Bull country and a Hot FM urban, or what have you. Cumulus is more or less doing it with their country NASH FM now. Might as well just stop pretending and be the national stations they basically are.

    Reply
  5. Kire

    I agree with ShortwaveGuy in that i’m not to sorry or surprised to see this development. Radio could be so much more. I thank the gods that shortwave is still happening and listen to it to get my radio fix.

    Reply
  6. ShortwaveGuy

    Don’t necessarily wanna’ be THAT guy, but I gotta’ say I’m glad. Worked for a station as a MUCH younger man that has now been absorbed by the behemoth that is now known as iHeartRadio. Clearly, they do NOT “heart” radio, but dollars. . .and in their push to get those dollars, they have sterilized radio in the markets they are in into something less than a market-neutral jukebox; no personality, local emphasis provided by prerecorded jocks that don’t understand the individual markets because they aren’t IN the individual markets. My hope is that this sad tale of corporate greed vaporizes into the mist and the return of radio to those in the communities they serve materializes in its wake. That said, with Ajit Pai at the helm of the FCC, I am afraid we can expect more of the same. . .different player, same role.

    Reply

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