iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy: What does this mean for Houston radio fans?

By Craig Hlavaty Updated 1:22 pm, Thursday, March 15, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

iHeartMedia, Owner of KOA, The Fox and More, Files for Bankruptcy

One illustration of the former Clear Channel's muscle can be found in our 2001 feature article "Taking on the Empire," about a lawsuit filed against the outfit by the promotion concern Nobody in Particular Presents. At the time, the San Antonio-based "company and its various subsidiaries own approximately 1,200 radio stations in the United States (and several hundred more overseas)," we wrote at the time. "It also holds Premiere Radio Networks, the country's most prominent purveyor of syndicated radio programming (Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger head its talent roster); nineteen television stations; over 700,000 billboards and related advertising forums; and Clear Channel Entertainment, a live-event arm (known until July as SFX) that dominates the concert medium from sea to shining sea."We added that "mere size, unprecedented though it might be, doesn't fully explain the fear Clear Channel engenders among inhabitants of the radio-and-promotion universe. The company has also earned a reputation for ruthlessness and ethically debatable activities that raise eyebrows, and hackles, even among industry veterans who thought they'd seen it all." Former 103.5 The Fox personality G-Man with Rocky, mascot of the Denver Nuggets. File photo Nonetheless, Clear Channel's swagger began to falter over the course of the decade, and by 2009, local outlets suffered 23 layoffs, including such popular personalities as The Fox's G-Man. More layoffs took place in 2012, with the victims including Andy Torri, engineer for KBCO's Studio C sessions. Torri was let go days after a new Studio C album was released.The branding switch to iHeartMedia didn't make the stations in the corporation's roster immune from the same kind of digital-age revenue downturns that have afflicted the Denver Post, which announced thirty layoffs yesterday. Indeed, the press release that announced the bankruptcy filing acknowledges debt in excess of $10 billion.The iHeartMedia outlets in Denver remain on Continue Reading

Beleaguered gun maker Remington points to bankruptcy court

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee in Hartford, Conn. Remington, the gunmaker beset by falling sales and lawsuits tied to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, said Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, that it has reached a financing deal that would allow it to continue operating as it files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File) FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013, file... Photo by Jessica Hill MADISON, N.C. — Remington, the gun maker beset by falling sales and lawsuits tied to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, has reached a financing deal that would allow it to continue operating as it seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The maker of the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the Connecticut shooting that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead in 2012, said Monday the agreement with lenders will reduce its debt by about $700 million and add about $145 million in new capital. The company was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting, but investors repulsed by the massacres distanced themselves from the company's owner, investment firm Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus acquired the gun maker in 2007, just when gun sales began to skyrocket. Firearm background checks, a reliable barometer of gun sales, had risen steadily for at least a decade. That changed last year with the election of President Donald Trump, and it has taken a toll on the gun industry. Gun sales spike on the election of candidates who are perceived to be more likely to pursue more stringent gun control laws, whether or not there is any truth in that perception. The opposite has occurred since Trump was elected. He became the first sitting president to address the National Rifle Association in three Continue Reading

B. Braun subsidiary’s $17.3 million deal to acquire California firm approved by Bankruptcy Court

One surefire way to win an auction is to submit the only bid. That’s essentially what Aesculap Inc. did. Aesculap, a B. Braun subsidiary with its U.S. headquarters in Center Valley, will purchase the assets of Dextera Surgical Inc., a Redwood City, Calif., manufacturer of stapling devices for minimally invasive surgical procedures that filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December. The deal is expected to be completed by Feb. 20. Dextera on Monday announced it had obtained U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval for the sale to Aesculap. The announcement comes after Aesculap in December reached an agreement to buy Dextera with a $17.3 million “stalking-horse bid” in the court-supervised auction. Other potential buyers could submit bids, but their offers couldn’t be less than $17.3 million. But no other bids for Dextera were submitted by the Jan. 19 deadline, so the court-supervised auction was canceled, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In a news release, Dextera President and CEO Julian Nikolchev said he’s pleased the company’s portfolio will be transitioning to Aesculap. “While there may be some temporary disruption in the ordering process during the transition period, we will work to ensure that these products remain available to the surgeons who depend on them for less invasive surgical procedures,” he said. Dextera said it is Aesculap’s intent to continue manufacturing and distributing Dextera’s products. Aesculap spokesperson Amy Burkey said the company has no comment at this time. Aesculap, according to a corporate brochure on its website, employs more than 580 people in the United States, where it has annual sales exceeding $210 million. [email protected] Twitter @ByJonHarris 610-820-6779 Get the inside scoop on the Lehigh Valley's business scene on The Business Cycle: themorningcall.com/business Like on Facebook: Continue Reading

Puerto Rico creditors open to mediation in bankruptcy court

By Nick Brown SAN JUAN (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's main creditors, meeting before a U.S. bankruptcy judge in the largest public finance restructuring case in history, are interested in continuing mediation settlement talks to resolve the island's unpayable $70 billion debt bill. In the first hearing since the U.S. commonwealth filed for bankruptcy on May 3, a lawyer for Puerto Rico's federal financial oversight board told U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain that the two main creditor groups expressed interest in maintaining the discussions while the case proceeds. Swain, the soft-spoken Manhattan jurist tapped by the U.S. Supreme Court to handle the bankruptcy, said the "scope and scale" of the case is "humbling" and that it "will certainly involve pain" but that "failure is not an option." She added, before a packed courtroom with an estimated 100 people and two additional overflow rooms, that "devoting all our time to litigation cannot" be a way forward. Wednesday's hearing marked the start of a process that could take months or years. It is also a culmination of more than two years of bitter debate between Puerto Rico's government, its creditors and federal lawmakers over how the island should rework its debt load that has crippled its economy. Earlier this month, the U.S. territory's central government entered a modified version of bankruptcy protection created under a federal rescue law known as PROMESA as a way to legally pave the way to cut its general obligation (GO) debt. The island's sales tax authority, known as COFINA, followed suit days later with its own filing under Title III of the PROMESA law, which provides for the bankruptcy mechanism. Attorney Martin Bienenstock said the board plans to press holders of GO and COFINA to mediate. The amount of debt held, nearly equally between the two, amounts to roughly $36 billion, or half of the total debt stock of Puerto Rico. Swain ruled to combined the GO and COFINA Title III Continue Reading

Golfsmith files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Retailer Golfsmith International, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 14, is not planning to shutter any New Jersey stores, according to court papers.Local golfers looking for a good buy at "closing sales," though, might consider visiting the Manhattan store on 5th Avenue, or the Carle Place, New York, store. Both appear on a 20-store list, out of 109 United States locations, that will close.Those stores will display "price markdowns" and liquidate specific inventory not moved to "stores remaining open," said Chief Restructuring Officer Brian E. Cejka, according to court papers.The Willow Grove store near Philadelphia will remain open, as will the Norwalk, Connecticut, shop. New Jersey is home to four Golfsmith stores — Bridgewater, East Brunswick, Moorestown and West Paterson — and all will continue business as usual during the reorganization case, according to the court papers. READ: Body found on Ocean Grove beach identified as missing man READ: Watch: Neighbors help sons rescue elderly mother from burning Carteret homeIn the past several months, said Cejka, Golfsmith and its consultants have analyzed each store for "profitability and market impact." They identified "sustainable" stores with strong sales figures — those it feels are "trending towards" or geographically "cover important regions."Still, Golfsmith filed for Chapter 11 to "significantly reduce the burdens that inhibit (it) from taking full advantage" of the sport's recent upswing in popularity, said Cejka, adding that the retailer is still evaluating its "entire lease portfolio to seek out opportunities for cost savings, including the possibility of seeking rent concessions from landlords."Golfsmith was founded as a home-based business in 1967 by Carl and Barbra Paul in Edison, according to court documents. After selling custom-made clubs and operating a repair service, the couple opened their first retail Continue Reading

Sports Authority files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Sports Authority is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.The retailer said Wednesday that it plans to close or sell about 140 stores and two distribution centers, in Denver and Chicago. The Englewood, Colorado, company has 463 stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico. The store closings are expected to take up to three months.Sports Authority stores will remain open and run on normal schedules during the Chapter 11 process. The company's website will continue to function, and the chain plans to honor warranties on items purchased at its stores or online."We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry," CEO Michael Foss said in a written statement. The executive said that it needs fewer stores as consumers are increasingly shifting to online shopping.CLOSURES: Sports Authority closing 3 Colorado stores, possibly moreThe retail industry as a whole has struggled with the consumer move to online shopping, trying to find ways to lure customers to brick-and-mortar stores instead. Macy's Inc. has opened Macy's Backstage, in order to go head to head with discount retailer T.J. Maxx. And J.C. Penney Co. is using store-label offerings to fight against pricing pressures from online rivals and recently launched a new campaign called "Get Your Penney's Worth," which offers certain store-label items for pennies.In a letter to customers posted on the company's website, Foss said that Sports Authority's long-term plan includes upgrading stores and improving its website.Foss said that The Sports Authority Inc., which is privately-held, has received interest from third parties that may want to invest in or buy some or all of the business. The company plans to continue evaluating all of its options, he added.FORT COLLINS: Sports Authority will leave Old Town site in 2016Sports Authority said that it expects to have sufficient liquidity during the Chapter 11 process when factoring in cash from operations Continue Reading

No disruptions expected at Navajo coal plant despite Peabody bankruptcy

Officials from Salt River Project don’t expect any disruptions at the Navajo Generating Station despite Wednesday’s bankruptcy filing by the mining company that feeds it coal.Peabody Energy Corp., based in St. Louis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.Peabody had about 7,600 employees at the end of last year and has ownership stakes in 26 mines in Australia and the U.S., including the Kayenta Mine on the Navajo Reservation.That mine sends coal to Navajo Generating Station outside of Page, which is run by SRP on behalf of multiple owners.SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said the utility does not expect Peabody to suspend operations at the mine because it is “cash positive” for Peabody.The contract SRP and the other plant owners have with the mine allows the owners to step in and operate the mine in the event Peabody can’t meet the contract, Harelson said.“We don’t believe that is going to be necessary,” he said.The mine also has a 35-day supply of coal on site, and that can be increased as a buffer against any supply concerns, he said. MORE:  Coal giant Peabody Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy RELATED:  SRP agrees to $13M deal to shut coal plantPeabody also has U.S. mines in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Wyoming.Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal miner, made its filing less than three months after another from Arch Coal, the country’s second-largest miner, which followed bankruptcy filings from Alpha Natural Resources.New energy technology and tightening environmental regulations have throttled the industry and led to a wave of mine closures and job cuts. Peabody makes most of its money by selling its coal to utility companies that use it to generate electricity. But many utilities have shifted to using natural gas, which costs less than coal and produces less pollution.SRP is Continue Reading

Friendly’s restaurant shuts down; files for bankruptcy protection

The parent of the Friendly's restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and said that it has already closed 63 of its stores. Each store employed about 20 people, so about 1,260 jobs were lost.The 76-year-old company known for its ice cream and hamburgers is the latest restaurant chain to file for bankruptcy, as consumers continue to eat out less, a habit they picked up during the recession, and food costs remain high.Other companies that have sought bankruptcy protection this year include Perkins & Marie Callender's; Real Mex, which operates El Torito Restaurant and Chevys Fresh Mex, and SSI Group Holding Corp., which operates Souper Salad and Grandy's restaurant.Friendly's said the economic downturn coupled with higher costs and high rents drove it to file for bankruptcy protection."The strategic decision to pursue a financial restructuring will allow us to proactively and quickly improve our financial position," said CEO Harsha V. Agadi.Friendly Ice Cream Corp., based in Wilbraham, Mass., says it has secured $70 million in financing and that its 424 remaining restaurants will stay open and pay employee salaries and benefits as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. Gift cards will continue to be honored. Friendly's now employs about 9,000 workers.Its current owners, Sun Capital Partners, will be the lead, or "stalking horse" bidders, in an auction process.The company filed for bankruptcy protection at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Mets owners file motion to move Madoff lawsuit from bankruptcy court into federal district court

The owners of the Mets filed a motion in United States District Court Thursday seeking to move the highly contentious lawsuit filed against them by the trustee liquidating the Bernie Madoff estate from bankruptcy court into federal court. The motion, filed early Thursday afternoon, seeks to move the case out of Burton R. Lifland's court and into the Southern District of New York on the basis of trustee Irving Picard's broad interpretation of bankruptcy law and conflicts with federal law, as well as what lawyers for Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz call "false allegations" put forth by Picard. Lawyers for Wilpon and Katz and their partners in Sterling Equities have been accused by Picard of either having knowledge of Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, or of not heeding warnings of the fraud. Picard is attempting to "claw back" what Picard calls "fictitious profits" of $300 million over a 25-year period, as well as $700 million in principal invested with Madoff. Wilpon and Katz strongly deny having any knowledge of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. According to the motion, the suit is in conflict with the Sterling defendants' legal rights as reflected on statements regularly issued by Madoff, a registered broker-dealer, and is "rife with false allegations that are directly contradicted by the Trustee's unilateral pre-complaint discovery." The motion also says that Picard's interpretation could affect the entire foundation of securities regulation, not to mention the other litigants in the case, and should therefore be litigated in a higher court. Two other Madoff cases Picard and his law firm, Baker & Hostetler LLP, are pursuing - have already been moved from Lifland's court to district court. On May 4, Judge Colleen McMahon ruled at a hearing that JPMorgan could move Picard's $6.8 billion case against the bank into federal district court. In April, Manhattan federal district court Judge Jed Rakoff similarly granted a motion by HSBC to withdraw part of Picard's $9 billion Continue Reading