Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

iHeartMedia, Owner of a Ton of Cleveland Radio Stations, Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 2:08 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

San Antonio-headquartered iHeartMedia, the radio and music-streaming company formerly known as Clear Channel Communications, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to escape crushing debt.

Once the poster child for media consolidation, iHeartMedia today said it's struck a deal with creditors and investors to restructure about $10 billion in debt, or half the total amount it owes. The company has enough cash to support it through the restructuring effort, officials added.



In Cleveland, iHeartMedia's portfolio includes 96.5 FM, 99.1 FM, 99.5 FM, 100.7 FM, 105.7 FM, 106.5 FM and 1100 AM.

The news comes days after the iHeartRadio Music Awards, a televised event named for the company's music-streaming service, feted top performers ranging from Cardi B to Bon Jovi.

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. They continued a business model of homogenizing content and slashing station staff, even as competition from digital media players and streaming services gave consumers the option of turning the dial on their content.

Ultimately, leveraged buyout firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain
Capital took over the troubled company in a $19 billion deal, forcing the selloff of 400 stations. But the new owners have been unable to turn things around, even after bringing in flashy radio veteran Bob Pittman as CEO and bestowing the company with the hipper iHeartMedia moniker in 2014.

The firm has struggled through years of losses and flat sales against streaming rivals such as Pandora and Spotify.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation