Disney's Sale May Have Been Citadel's Doom
In another case of a highly leveraged media acquisition collapsing under its own weight of debt, Citadel Broadcasting, which bought the Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Radio Networks and Disney's owned-and-operated radio stations in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in New York on Sunday. The company valued its assets at about $1.4 billion and its debt at $2.4 billion. Since Citadel acquired the broadcaster, it has been slashing costs, often by firing key executives and top-rated on-air personality. Some analysts accused it of "dismantling" the company and forecast that it would sell off the network and stations piecemeal. But radio has been particularly hard hit by the current recession, with many local advertisers cutting back or withdrawing entirely from the medium. Other media conglomerates are facing similar disarray.