IHeart - Major Operator Of Jacksonville Radio Stations - Turns Dial To Bankruptcy


iHeartMedia, the country's largest radio broadcaster with around 850 stations and a leading outdoor advertising company, is filing for bankruptcy after spending years trying to manage its $20 billion in outstanding indebtedness.

Their local holdings include United States 101, KZ106, 103.7 Kiss FM, Talk Radio 102.3 FM among others.

The company will also continue to operate as normal during the bankruptcy.

And they plan to "uphold its commitments" to their staff, which includes 12,400 people nationwide.

Wooten made it clear that there are different kinds of bankruptcy filings, and iHeartMedia is one of the cases where filing for bankruptcy protection appears to be negative, but it is actually a significant accomplishment. Why?

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.

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The company's free broadcast and internet radio platform iHeartRadio has recorded an average of 1.8 million listeners in Canada each month since its launch in October 2016 as part of a licensing deal with BCE Inc. unit Bell Media.

Interested in the entertainment industry or investing in entertainment stocks? There are eight iHeart stations in Los Angeles, for example, and six in NY, including Z100, a pop powerhouse. Still headquartered in San Antonio, iHeart owns stations that are often the top-ranked stations in major market cities.

While traditional radio has been shaken by the rise of streaming, iHeartMedia's immediate problems stem from a messy process a decade ago for a leveraged buyout, which is when management buys a controlling share of a company with outside help.

iHeartMedia told employees nothing is changing and they will still get paid, but the company has a crippling debt of more than $20 billion.

"Ultimately, when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position", Vitanza said.

Ben Sisario is a New York Times writer.