It’s a tough time for a variety of media, and terrestrial radio is no different.
The owner of three stations that broadcast locally, Cumulus Media, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. This will allow the company to continue operating as they work to shed $1 Billion in liabilities.
In a statement, the president and CEO of Cumulus Media Mary Berner said:
“The actions we are taking today to address our balance sheet are a critical step forward for Cumulus. We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth.
We have ample cash to support our operations and service our advertisers, vendors and affiliates during this period, and we look forward to becoming an even stronger partner to all of them when we complete this important phase of our turnaround strategy.”
Cumulus recently signed a lease renewal at the Fisher Building for their 32,000 square feet. As operations are expected to continue, this may not be affected. WJR Radio has a long and storied history in the city of Detroit.
Nationally, ratings for Cumulus stations are declining over their 446 owned and operated radio stations in 90 U.S. markets. Digital options like podcasting and streaming are also eating away at listeners and advertisers as audience tastes shift.
The company currently has about $2.4 Billion in debt. Cumulus stock will be canceled, and secured lenders will own the company.
There’s no word of any job cuts as of yet locally.
In other media news, there’s a report that the Detroit News is offering buyouts to all of their newsroom employees to cut staff, with the plan being to layoff personnel if the desired budget number isn’t hit.