iHeartMedia Debt Grows, Layoffs Continue Amid Concern for Future

iHeartRadio
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iHeartMedia has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2017 (ending March 31) and its report was not encouraging. “There is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the release of the figures,” the report says, with “a substantial amount of [their] cash requirements [slated] for debt-service obligations.”

The news comes in the wake of renewed contracts with superstar on-air personalities like Elvis Duran and Steve Harvey, and the move of Ryan Seacrest to New York to co-host “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” for which the company built brand-new studios at WABC in New York so he can continue his live morning duties at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.

There have also been widespread layoffs at various iHeartMedia properties in Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Sacramento, New Orleans, Grand Rapids, Florence, and Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Canton, Ohio — which are widely seen as coming in anticipation of what many believe will be a potential bankruptcy filing, even if that possibility has been denied by the company. At press time, 19 employees were known to have been let go.

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An iHeartMedia spokesperson, referring to the layoffs, issued the following statement: “Each market constantly looks at all aspects of its business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today so they can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. This creates some new jobs, and unfortunately, sometimes eliminates others.”

The company has not commented on any speculation about a potential bankruptcy filing.

Still, the company anticipates “having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for 2017, including maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324 million and $8,369 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively,” according to this morning’s financial results.

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Among those who have confirmed leaving the company are Cincinnati SVP of programming Bo Matthews and VP/market manager Chuck Frederick; WRNO New Orleans program director Jim Fisher; WFUS Tampa music director Launa Phillips; and WFSY Panama City, Florida’s Logan Kelly, among others.

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    1. Jon Hardee says:

      I left iHeart for a better job, one that was more in touch with the local community. The only problem with iHeart is that it owes to much to too many creditors and feels like it has to play it safe.

    2. Kramer says:

      iHeart Radio’s problem is the fact it’s corporate radio. Paying ridiculous salaries to a select few celebratard DJ types and making the music not even what matters most. I work at a location, we don’t take requests, we dont have control over what can be played. So screw the small-time artists and cater to the Pop Slush factory artists. There is no care in highlighting up and coming artists if they arent part of some major record label that wants to push a particular artist down your throat. Why you ask? Because from their research the majority of listeners is listening 20 mins at most in a sitting. So you’ll get to hear that new Katy Perry near every hour. Call into the station? Unless you are in the largest of large markets you’re going to get a busy signal because our phones are on DnD. But you’ll just assume the line is always busy. No, there just isnt anyone in the studio because its all a pre-determined log of music playing automatically. And if someone does answer, you’ll get the classic “I’ll see if I ca get it on” aka I can’t change the music log because someone at corporate will get mad if we make too many changes to the music log. Id be fine if the company went bankrupt and we got bought out by a different group that would return some semblance of the personal that made radio unique in the first place, because iHeartRadio is the enemy.

    3. paully says:

      Overpaying Rush and Sean, was this just a ponzi scheme.. On the plus side the iHeart app was added this week and it works very well..

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