Largest U.S. radio company, Audacy, files for bankruptcy protection

Audacy, the radio and podcast giant, said Sunday it filed plans for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas to reduce its debt.

The restructuring agreement will allow Audacy to slash its total debt load by 80% to about $350 million from around $1.9 billion, the company said.

“Over the past few years, we have strategically transformed Audacy into a leading, scaled multi-platform audio content and entertainment company,” David Field, CEO of Audacy, said in a statement.

However, Field added, “the perfect storm” over the past four years of macroeconomic challenges “facing the traditional advertising market” led to a sharp reduction in radio ad spending.

“These market factors have severely impacted our financial condition and necessitated our balance sheet restructuring,” Field said.

The Philadelphia-based company owns hundreds of radio stations and is one of the top radio broadcasters in the U.S.