One of radio’s largest companies has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In an announcement made Sunday, Audacy confirmed last week’s report that it is entering into a prepackaged restructured agreement with the majority of its debtholders. The move is designed to help the company deleverage its balance sheet and position itself for long-term growth.
The restructuring between Audacy and its debtholders is expected to help the company eliminate approximately $1.6 billion of funded debt. That will ease the company’s financial strain from $1.9 billion to approximately $350 million. In the company’s press release, Audacy said it didn’t expect the restructuring to affect advertisers, partners, or employees. Audacy was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in November 2023.
“Over the past few years, we have strategically transformed Audacy into a leading, scaled multi-platform audio content and entertainment company through our acquisition of CBS Radio and by building leading complementary positions in podcasting, audio networks, live events, digital marketing solutions, and our direct-to-consumer streaming platform,” said David J. Field, Chairman, President and CEO of Audacy.
Field continued, “While our transformation has enhanced our competitive position, the perfect storm of sustained macroeconomic challenges over the past four years facing the traditional advertising market has led to a sharp reduction of several billion dollars in cumulative radio ad spending. These market factors have severely impacted our financial condition and necessitated our balance sheet restructuring. With our scaled leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content, and a robust capital structure, we believe Audacy will emerge well positioned to continue its innovation and growth in the dynamic audio business.”
The decision to pursue bankruptcy means that the radio industry’s three largest companies have all filed for Chapter 11. Cumulus Media went first in 2017. iHeartmedia was next in 2018. Insiders say the decision to eliminate debt could serve Audacy well, and allow the company to make greater investments. Whereas others believe it could open the door to larger changes up top.
A recent report by media writer Jerry DelColliano suggested that lenders will take on a heavier role, raising questions about David Field’s future and Audacy’s board. DelColliano also hinted at former CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason returning to help the company. Whether that comes to fruition or not only time will tell.
Court Approves Audacy Reorganization Plan
“We have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.”
A United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved a plan for Audacy to reemerge from its bankruptcy proceedings.
Under the plan, Audacy will equitize more than $1.5 billion of funded debt, which reduces its debt load by 80%, down from $1.9 billion to $350 million.
Audacy Chairman David Field was encouraged by the development.
“Today’s announcement marks a powerful step forward for Audacy, positioning the Company for an exciting future,” said David Field, who also serves as the President and CEO of Audacy. “As expected, we have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.
“We aim to drive accelerated growth and financial performance, capitalizing on our scaled, leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content and the robust capital structure that we will have upon emergence,” continued Field. “I also want to express my gratitude to our team, who continue their outstanding work to serve our listeners and customers with excellence and fulfill our commitments without missing a beat.”
A statement from the company claims the restructuring “will enable Audacy to continue its strategic digital transformation and capitalize on its position as a scaled, leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company differentiated by its exclusive, premium audio content.”
Fox News Begins 2024 Atop Key Digital Media Demographics
Fox News finished its 35th consecutive month atop the multiplatform minutes rankings, with 3.3 billion minutes according to a report from Comscore.
Fox News Digital began 2024 by sitting atop the rankings in several key demographics in the digital media landscape.
In multiplatform views, the outlet tallied 1.7 billion, with The New York Times scoring 1.5 billion. That marked the 16th consecutive month Fox News Digital finished on top.
6 million unique visitors visited the conservative cable outlet’s mobile app, which bested CNN, which tallied 5.4 million unique visitors.
Political Ad Spending Sees Highest Levels in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, political ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.
As the 2024 election season continues to take shape, political advertising is seeing large gains in three major metropolitan areas.
AdImpact has tracked nearly $110 million in political ad spending over the past two weeks, with the largest recipients of those figures being Los Angeles ($13.2 million), New York ($10.5 million), and San Francisco ($7.2 million).
Thus far, the highest-spending advertisers are the Adam Schiff for Senate campaign, as the current representative vies for the spot vacated by the death of Diane Feinstein. The campaign has spent $8.1 million.
Additionally, the American Values PAC — a political action committee supporting Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — spent $7.2 million.
Finally, the Yes on Prop 1 in California campaign — which will attempt to tackle mental health issues in the state — has spent $5.4 million in advertising.
In total, AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, election ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.