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Monday, May 29, 2017

Radio Troubles

For John, BLUFGary was right, sort of.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Market Watch and Reporter Ciara Linnane, on 27 May 2017.

iHeartRadio parent iHeartMedia Inc. is back on the ropes.

The biggest operator of radio stations in the U.S. is having a hard time persuading creditors to get on board with exchange offers covering some $14 billion in debt it badly needs to refinance.  On Thursday, the company extended the offers for a fifth time, as it became apparent that some who were previously willing to participate are now backing out of the deal.

iHeartMedia IHRT, -20.09% , which also owns billboard advertising company Clear Channel Outdoors, said just $47.1 million of notes, equal to 0.6% of the outstanding amount, had been tendered as of 5 p.m. on May 24.  That’s less than the $86.7 million that the company previously said had been tendered as of May 11.

The deadline for the exchange offers has now been pushed back to June 9 from May 26.  The company will use the extra time to continue talks with lenders under two term loan facilities and the holders of its bonds.

“Right now, it’s a game of chicken,” said Chuck Tatelbaum, international bankruptcy expert and senior attorney at the Tripp Scott law firm.  “The debtholders are waiting to see who will blink first.”

Where, in the Eastern Massachusetts listening area, will the Rush Limbaugh show go?  Not that the current signal (1430 AM) is all that strong up here in Lowell now.

The longer range question is if soon radio will just be NPR and local stations playing local music?  That is to say, AM Talk Radio with broad audiences may die, again.

And, this does go to the question raised by Reporter Kelefa Sanneh, who wrote for The New Yorker, back on 24 May, "WHAT ROGER AILES FIGURED OUT."  I blogged about it here.  If Fox News goes and iHeart Radio goes, where are listeners left to go?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  My recollection is it died once and Rush Limbaugh brought it back.

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