In a case of “the bigger they are…” iHeartMedia, who operate the largest commercial radio network in America, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The company is a staggering $20 billion in debt, and — according to MBW, had agreed to a “restructuring deal with the holders of more than $10bn of this figure” with the firm claiming “widespread support across the capital structure for a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring”.
Which all means the bottom won’t fall out of the U.S. radio industry. Yet. iHeartMedia will continue to operate as always, and the restructuring deal will allow some breathing room. Although it may appear to be a fairly definitive sign that commercial radio in the tradition sense is dying out, the CEO is putting a possible spin on things.
“iHeartMedia has created a highly successful operating business, generating year-over-year revenue growth in each of the last 18 consecutive quarters”, said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“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 almost 850 radio stations, our digital platform, our live events, and our 129 million social followers.
“The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure. Achieving a capital structure that finally matches our impressive operating business will further enhance iHeartMedia’s position as America’s #1 audio company.”