Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Right-wing talk radio is still popular — but as a business model, it’s melting down

Cumulus Media, the owner of several hundred radio stations and the distributor of several big-name conservative talk shows, is facing financial difficulties as its larger industry is contracting. This is happening not long after Cumulus’ rival iHeartMedia, formerly known as Clear Channel and syndicator of both Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s radio shows, told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it may be close to bankruptcy. Both companies are carrying immense loads of debt. Since late February, Cumulus’ stock has traded at less than $1 a share. As recently as 2012, its share price was close to $8. One of Cumulus’ largest shareholders, hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, recently divested a significant portion of its stock in the company.

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