IHeartMedia, which owns radio stations in Madison, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

IHeartMedia, which owns radio stations in Madison, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy”

iHeartMedia, which owns more than 850 radio stations, had warned in May 2017 that it might not be able to continue as a going concern.

The largest radio broadcaster in the United States has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

IHeartMedia Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday as the largest USA radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to restructure its overwhelming debt load.

There are six Huntington area iHeart radio stations that include WAMX 106.3 FM, WBVB 97.1 FM, WKEE 100.5 FM, WTCR 1420 AM, WTCR-FM 103.3 and WVHU 800 AM, according to Wikipedia. "The company has also earned a reputation for ruthlessness and ethically debatable activities that raise eyebrows, and hackles, even among industry veterans who thought they'd seen it all".

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Numerous ex-employees told Digital Music News that iHeartMedia deceived its operations personnel into thinking their jobs were safe.

The company said it has enough cash to support it through Chapter 11 proceedings. The CEO of the company, Bob Pittman, said the debt iHeartMedia found itself in has "burdened our capital structure".

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.

The company ultimately couldn't handle its $20 billion buyout debt leveraged in 2008.

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The San Antonio-based company iHeartMedia announced Wednesday that it is working to restructure its debt and that it intends to "maintain business-as-usual operations" during the court proceedings.

The company owns 850 radio stations and a streaming service.

According to court filings, iHeartMedia, known as Clear Channel Communications until 2014, paid $1.4 billion past year in interest on its debts.

That debt obscures iHeart's transformation from "a traditional radio company into a true 21 century multi-platform, data-driven, digitally-focused media and entertainment powerhouse", according to Pitman.

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"The company transferred some stock - it was an intercompany stock transfer - and its bondholders challenged it, tried to force them into default, and I Heart fought it", she says.

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