By Ben Sisario, nytimes.com
Ed Sheeran, Eminem, Maroon 5 and Cardi B all performed on Sunday night as part of the iHeartRadio Music Awards, a testament to the company’s dominance over the radio business. Its roughly 850 stations, the most of any American broadcaster, still wield considerable hitmaking power, even in the age of streaming.
But on Thursday, iHeartRadio’s parent company, iHeartMedia, filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to restructure part of the $20 billion debt load that has burdened it since a leveraged buyout a decade ago, on the eve of the 2008 recession.
The company announced that it had reached agreements with creditors to reduce its debt by more than $10 billion. It said it would continue to operate its stations during the process.