Moody's Recognizes Cumulus Has 'Turned Around' Four Major Stations
June 5, 2013 at 4:54 AM (PT)
MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE has not only upgraded CUMULUS MEDIA's Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating to "SGL -- 2 from SGL -- 3, reflecting improved access to the senior secured revolver due to the recent amendment of the 1st lien credit agreement," they've weighed in on several of the company's recent moves.
The ratingchange will give CUMULUS full access to its revolving credit line.
In its release, MOODY'S wrote, "Despite earlier positive pacing reports for 2Q2013, debt ratings are pressured by challenges related to turning around 10 underperforming stations in eight of its larger markets which are expected to break even in the second half of 2013. Management indicates that four of these 10 stations have successfully been turned around." That addresses the big-market "underperforming stations" we've heard CEO LEW DICKEY refer to in various financial reports.
MOODY'S also noted the "challenges related to its syndicated Talk segment," apparently referring to the public tussle with RUSH LIMBAUGH over placing the blame for its Talk radio revenue woes on the PREMIERE NETWORKS host. In an interview on BLOOMBERG TV (NET NEWS 5/10), DICKEY said the losses his company took in the wake of the LIMBAUGH-SANDRA FLUKE controversy, were "in the millions of dollars," saying that News/Talk, representing about 10% of his company's business, "took a hit ... because of those events."
Read the full MOODY'S note here.