The Noose Tightens on iHeart

By now everyone knows that iHeart is in big trouble – mostly from financial missteps but not limited to that.

Now, stunning revelations on how tight things are getting previously withheld from public view.

  • For example, what percentage of lenders has agreed to their debt exchange refinancing effort?
  • Which lender stood up to Bob Pittman’s playing the bankruptcy card and the ballsy thing they did.
  • The audacity of one lender to counter Pittman’s bankruptcy threat with this ploy.
  • The real likelihood that iHeart defaults into bankruptcy according to Wall Street investors – not what iHeart is threatening.
  • Why is iHeart spending like a drunken sailor when expenses are in record territory?
  • Why layoffs are being conducted even as Pittman commits hundreds of millions elsewhere – here are some examples.
  • How much cash does iHeart have on hand and is it an issue going forward.
  • And most importantly – what we know to date on an upcoming iHeart scandal that can totally rock the company.

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Westwood One

Cumulus originally spent $260 million to buy Westwood One and with that acquisition buried itself in debt.

But does Cumulus really need Westwood One now?

  • Who is the “surprise buyer” who could make Mary Berner a very nice offer.
  • What’s wrong with Westwood One?
  • Why Westwood One would be better off in the hands of a new owner.
  • The two radio groups that need Westwood One more than Cumulus.
  • What’s the scenario under which Westwood takes on this investment partner.

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Terror has come to the entertainment industry.

Today’s Millennial generation and the ones who came after – 13 year olds among others – are among the most anxiety ridden of all.

When concert venues become the target, it really hits home – our home in the music and broadcasting industry.

Go to Twitter for the latest, not most radio stations.

Hit music stations had this one chance to help heal the pain for their young music loving audiences but no one was home.

Voice tracking or jocks so stuck in formatics that they didn’t realize that when your P1 audience is rocked to its bones, the news story and conversation that follows is precisely the “hit record” you must play over and over again.

Open the mics, let the audience vent.

If not, go to Twitter and social media because they do.

Even all-news stations were falling asleep.

Why didn’t they just plug into BBC Radio because they still know how to cover news?

Beyond the missed opportunities, the bombing as Ariana Grande’s concert was wrapping up signifies some challenges to the live venue business, one of the last aspects of music entertainment to remain robust.

iHeart is the leader in concerts and now they have to be even more aware of safety at their events.

Things won’t be the same for their audience or their parents after last night.

If you’re a parent, the news of this latest act of terrorism is scary.

The idea of being at risk at a musical event may have its short-term disadvantages to concert promoters from now on, but Americans and humans in general find ways to go on with their lives and confront their fears.  They stand up to terror.  That is our wish for these young people across the sea and to empathizers across the street.

Media in the post 9/11 world will have to adapt.

Social media is the lifeline in good times and times of crisis.

Radio, television and the music industry will have to become a greater part of the conversation to remain relevant.  They can’t just act like it’s business as usual when the entire world is in pursuit of news, conversation and connection.

The concert business may dip.

Fans may be more reluctant to attend live events especially from a generation that suffers from more anxiety than any other.

Radio will have to wake up, turn off the computer in the closet and become a kind of audio Twitter reflecting a real concern and sensitivity for their audience.

I scanned the dial in Philly last night after the Manchester explosion and no hit music station was doing anything other than what they would do on any other night.

I get it.

Budget cuts, canned talent.

But last night was not like any other night and for those of us who know the real potential of radio know that it was a missed opportunity to show our P1s that we indeed know the difference between social media and corporate radio.

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Cumulus Hostile Takeover

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And read these full articles:

            SiriusXM in Trouble

            The Cumulus Free Fall

            CBS Radio RIFs

            Cumulus Survival Chances

            Entercom’s Cratering Market Value

            iHeart Raises

            The Future of Power 106 & Emmis

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