iHeartMedia, a major player in MN radio, mulls bankruptcy filing

The company that owns 11 Twin Cities and Rochester radio stations, including KDWB and KFAN, is in dire financial straits.

iHeartMedia could file bankruptcy as soon as this weekend, according to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek.

The media company boasts it is the nation's biggest radio broadcaster with about 860 stations in over 160 markets, including 84 of the top 100 markets.

Texas-based iHeartMedia was formerly known as Clear Channel Communications. The company has warned that it could not afford payments on some $20 billion in debt unless it restructures those obligations. A call for comment was not immediately returned.

"The substantial amount of indebtedness of ... iHeart Communications, and its subsidiaries, may adversely affect our liquidity, our cash flows and our ability to operate our business and make us more vulnerable to changes in the economy or our industry," the company said its most recent annual report.

The company has been losing money for years as it makes big debt payments. They totaled $3.5 billion in 2016 and 2017 alone. Through the first three quarters of last year, iHeart lost about $772,000 on revenue of $4.5 billion.

The company also operates Premiere, a national radio network that produces, distributes or represents 109 syndicated radio programs and services for more than 5,900 radio station affiliates. Hosts for those shows include Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

Meanwhile, the company's outdoor advertising business owns or operates about 100,000 print and digital billboards and other advertising displays,

iHeart's other Minnesota stations, include Cities97, Kool 108, and NewsTalk AM 1130.

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