Iconic radio giant Cumulus Media files Chapter 11

Troubled radio giant Cumulus Media Inc. said late Wednesday that it filed to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Atlanta-based company (Nasdaq: CMLS), which is burdened with $2.4 billion in debt, owns and operates 446 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets. The company’s historical focus had been on mid-sized radio markets in the United States. But in 2011, believing that large radio markets provided an opportunity for future growth, particularly for emerging digital advertising initiatives, Cumulus bought rival Citadel Broadcasting Corp. for $2.5 billion.

Cumulus said Wednesday it has entered a restructuring agreement with lenders to reduce the company’s debt by more than $1 billion. The company filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Nov. 13 that Cumulus had prepared a so-called “prepackaged” bankruptcy as it negotiated with its lenders. Earlier in November Cumulus defaulted on a nearly $24 million debt payment.

Cumulus said Wednesday it expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout the restructuring. The company said it has ample cash combined with funds generated from ongoing operations to support its business.

 

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