IHeartRadio owner files for bankruptcy, but you won't feel it

IHeartRadio owner files for bankruptcy, but you won't feel it

iHeartMedia affirmed this in its own statement on the bankruptcy: "iHeartMedia, America's #1 audio company, will continue operating the business in the ordinary course as a leading global multi-platform media, entertainment and data company".

The company has six stations in Baton Rouge-102.5 WFMF, 101.5 WYNK, 96.1 The River, 1210 The Score, Downtown Radio, and WJBO Newsradio.

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The company announced Thursday it had reached an agreement to address and restructure $10 billion of its outstanding debt to stakeholders and investors.

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. Aided by a relaxed federal regulations, Clear Channel's founding Mays family led the firm through a radio-station buying spree in the '90s and early 2000s, at one point controlling 1,100 properties. The creditors' counteroffer sought a higher stake in the company - 94.75% - while offering the equity holders nothing. They own over 850 radio stations.

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The company launched a subscription service previous year with Napster, which has been successful, but not enough to save the company from the mounting debt. IHeart and Pandora, meanwhile, could share advertising technology and sales forces, Maffei said. IHeart countered with its own streaming services and a live-events business offering concerts and awards shows. The giant radio/media company has been plagued by falling revenues and piles of debt.

iHeart found itself under a mountain of debt following a leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Outdoor in 2008.

The company has long argued that were it not for its debt payments, it would be a profitable group. That deal led by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP closed just as a financial crisis began to undermine the US economy.

The bankruptcy caps a yearlong standoff with lenders and bondholders on its latest debt-cutting plan. The current attempt at an accord followed at least a dozen debt revisions over the past decade.

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