Audacitywho own WFAN, WCBS, WINS and a host of other New York radio stations (as well as Philadelphia’s WIP and other major outlets), is clearly in financial crisis. But he categorically denied that he was preparing to file for bankruptcy on Tuesday evening.
“A blog post published today falsely claims that the CEO of Audacy has confirmed Audacy’s bankruptcy. This claim is categorically false,” the company’s official Twitter account said on a quote tweet from Barstool honcho Dave Portnoy, of all people.
“Audacy intends to vigorously pursue all available remedies for misrepresentations intended to cause harm to Audacy and its stakeholders.”
The Audacy account also tagged the WGBH account, which is the NPR station in Boston. And partly responsible for the fury.
What seems to have happened here: Jerry Del Colliano, who founded the trade publication Inside Radio and now has his own industry subscription newsletter, tweeted a paid link which read “David Field Confirms Audacy’s Bankruptcy”. A few hours later, a WGBH reporter — Henry Santoro – tweeted the same message without attribution to Del Colliano. This tweet has since been deleted. But it gained traction before Audacy responded with a full-throated denial.
You have to take Audacy at its word, and the Boston NPR reporter’s tweet was definitely irresponsible. But Del Colliano isn’t just some guy on Twitter. So we’ll see if this turns out to be a completely false or just premature report. Because bankruptcy is often just one tool in the troubled party’s toolbox. Ask the former president of the United States, for example.
What is clear: Audacy suffers. Its stock price closed at 52 cents on Tuesday. It is in violation of New York Stock Exchange rules (less than a dollar a share) and is at risk of delisting. And he just had a big round of layoffs nationwide. These layoffs do not appear to have impacted WFAN, which is currently back on ESPN Radio New York. But if the company continues to downsize in an attempt to avoid Chapter 11, WFAN could potentially suffer.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]