iHeartMedia, Inc., formerly CC Media Holdings, Inc., is an American mass media corporation headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It is the holding company of iHeartCommunications, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications, Inc.), a company founded by Lowry Mays and B. J. "Red" McCombs in 1972, and later taken private by Bain Capital, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners through a leveraged buyout in 2008. As a result of this buyout, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. began to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of CC Media Holdings, Inc. On September 16, 2014, CC Media Holdings, Inc. was rebranded iHeartMedia, Inc.; and Clear Channel Communications, Inc., became iHeartCommunications, Inc. On March 14, 2018, the company filed to operate under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, dealing with a debt load in excess of $20 billion.iHeartMedia, Inc. specializes in radio broadcasting through division iHeartMedia (sans "Inc." suffix; formerly Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Clear Channel Radio, et al.) and subsidiary iHeartMedia and Entertainment, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc.); the company owns more than 850 full-power AM and FM radio stations in the U.S., making it the nation's largest owner of radio stations. Additionally, the company leases two channels on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and has expanded its online presence through the iHeartRadio platform. iHeartMedia, Inc. also specializes in outdoor advertising through subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
The name "Clear Channel" came from AM broadcasting, referring to a channel (frequency) on which only one station transmits. In the U.S., clear-channel stations have exclusive rights to their frequencies throughout most of the continent at night, when AM signals travel far due to skywave. The company's new name is intended to reflect its growing digital business. Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc., explained: "We have a company that's doing progressive stuff, and yet we're named after AM radio stations."Since 2008, iHeartMedia, Inc., struggled to pay down more than $20 billion in debt the company assumed from its leveraged buyout. Various media outlets, including Bloomberg News, Reuters, Radio Ink, and iHeartMedia's hometown newspaper the San Antonio Express-News, claimed that either bankruptcy or a major restructuring was likely. On April 20, 2017, the company warned investors that it might not survive over the following 10 months. On February 1, 2018 the company missed an interest payment, an event that started a 30-day period after which its creditors could call their debts due and force the company into bankruptcy.On March 14 and 15, 2018, the company and various affiliated companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and claimed to have a proposed agreement to restructure $10 billion of its over $20 billion debt load.
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