Cumulus Shakeup Fuels Bankruptcy Rumours


Insiders believe there’s still value in troubled Cumulus Radio

By Claire Atkinson, Business Columnist, New York Post

October 3, 2015


Cumulus Radio’s biggest shareholder, Chairman Jeffrey Marcus made a tough call last week swapping out longtime CEO Lew Dickey for magazine industry honcho Mary Berner, who famously took Reader’s Digest Association through bankruptcy. (The Dickey family holds the second-largest block of Cumulus.)

That move has led to a swirl of gossip that bankruptcy court is the next stop for the No. 2 US radio station owner.

Marcus has been telling industry influencers that isn’t the case. And indeed, On the Money found private-equity folks who think there’s still some value to be extracted despite its $2.4 billion debt load.

Cumulus is the home of syndicated talk-radio star Michael Savage and New York station WPLJ.

Dickey’s chief creation of the past 18 months has been to invest in content that builds out of a radio-station concept.

He created the NASH FM/NASH ICON country music radio network and attempted to create a lifestyle portfolio around it. That included a music label with Taylor’s Swift’s Big Machine and released artists such as Reba McIntire. It published Country Weekly magazine, and a retail clothing line was on the horizon.

Don’t expect Cumulus to stand by its man, because the top gun is now a woman.



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