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iHeartMedia radio conglomerate files for bankruptcy

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iHeartMedia (formerly known as Clear Channel), the corporation that owns over 800 radio stations in North America, and the operator behind the iHeartRadio music app, has filed for bankruptcy. As CNN points out, the company has suffered from debt issues for about a decade, and is suffering a similar fate to rival radio conglomerate Cumulus Media:

iHeartMedia (IHRT) has been crippled by piles of debt for many years. It has been struggling to get out from under a massive debt load it took on as part of a leveraged buyout of billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor in 2008.
On Thursday it announced an agreement to restructure more than $10 billion in debt, about half of what it owes.
“The agreement we announced today … allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure,” iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said in a statement.
The company said it has enough cash to support it through Chapter 11 proceedings. […] The company has struggled with falling revenue. It was down in 2015, barely grew in 2016 and fell in the first nine months of 2017. This has come amid declines in the radio ad business and growing competition from streaming rivals like Spotify and Pandora.

iHeartMedia owns several NYC radio stations, including Z100 and 106.7 Life FM, as well as NYC’s iHeartRadio Theater. The company also put on their annual iHeartRadio Music Awards this past weekend.

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