Soon after a Bankruptcy Court confirmed its reorganization plan (NET NEWS 1/22), iHEARTMEDIA Chairman/CEO BOB PITTMAN and Pres./COO/CFO RICH BRESSLER sent an internal e-mail to the company’s work force. It went as follows:
We wanted to share some really exciting news: We announced today that the court has approved our restructuring plan – creating a capital structure for our company that matches our strong operating business.
We have an impressive operating business with great momentum, and we’re excited to finally have a strong capital structure that will match it – and the additional opportunities that will unlock.
Just to share with you a few of the things we’ve already accomplished together:
* We are by far the number-one audio company in AMERICA, with a reach in the U.S. that’s greater than any other media outlet –- even greater than FACEBOOK and GOOGLE – an audience that’s twice the size of our second largest competitor in broadcast radio and six times their size in digital listening;
* We are the #1 commercial podcaster in AMERICA, by far;
* Our social fans are twice NETFLIX’s and five times SPOTIFY’s;
* We have built a roster of iconic live events spread throughout the year, with brand value and recognition even greater than COACHELLA and LOLLAPALOOZA;
* We are by far the leading audio service on SNAPCHAT, YOUTUBE and voice-activated virtual personal assistants and smart speakers; and
* With our slate of data-infused advertising tools we have built a new way to engage with advertisers – allowing us to both serve traditional media partners and also meet the analytics and attribution standards set by the biggest digital players.
In addition, in the last year alone:
* We acquired HOWSTUFFWORKS, solidifying our position as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally;
* We created last weekend’s iHEARTRADIO PODCAST AWARDS, cementing our leadership role in this rapidly growing consumer audio space;
* We hosted our legendary live events like the iHEARTCOUNTRY FESTIVAL, the iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, the iHEARTRADIO FIESTA LATINA and iHEARTRADIO JINGLE BALL TOUR; and
* We acquired JELLI, which is the technology underpinning of the data-infused programmatic buying and selling for us and the rest of broadcast radio.
Today audio is the hottest topic in conversation. It turns out those bets we made five and six years ago on new platforms, systems, and innovations, while our competitors stayed in their very narrow lanes, have perfectly positioned us to benefit from this renaissance.
The support of our debtholders who will become our owners is further validation of iHEARTMEDIA’s strength and the value of our mission and our future. And we have a new incoming Board of Directors that is exceptionally accomplished, with a breadth and depth of leadership found in very few companies. We believe having a Board of Directors with this kind of experience – at the top of companies like DISNEY and MGM, as well as companies leading technological change in SILICON VALLEY – gives us a breadth of knowledge and experience that is world-class and gives us another strong competitive advantage.
With all this excitement, this is just the beginning. As part of this process, we both have agreed to extend our contracts for another four years, and we know there are amazing new things we can all accomplish together in the future.
And for those of you who have an interest in the technicalities of the proceedings, there are some legal and financial processes necessary to put the plan into effect, but these should be invisible to you and we don’t expect them to have any impact on you or on our business. From this point on, we’re the new iHEART with all of the strong operating business and momentum we’ve had — plus we’ll have a new capital structure that matches that.
All of you are at the heart of what we do at iHEARTMEDIA and we’d like to thank you for creating this strong momentum. There’s much more to come – and we’ve never been more excited about the future of this company.
BOB and RICH