WPRO’s Parent Company: Federal Judge Shoots Down Financing and Stock Tumbles

Sunday, February 26, 2017


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The effort to keep Cumulus radio from bankruptcy took a big hit on Friday when U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla struck down Cumulus’ refinancing plan. For WPRO AM and FM, Hot 106 and Lite 105’s parent company the Judge’s decision triggered a significant selloff. 

The company’s struggling stock tumbled 24% on Friday and closed at just $.76 per share. The stock’s 52 week high is just $2.40 cents after an eight for one stock swap to keep the company from being delisted.

The stock has lost 68% of its value since October of 2016.

“While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues. We are making solid progress in our turnaround, and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan,” said the company in a statement on Friday.

Local Ratings in Flux

For WPRO AM, the station has lost about a third of its rating since the death of Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. While WPRO had a modest bounce back in the most recent rating report from a 3.4 to a 3.7 share -- the station is still at record low levels for the all-talk station.  A share is defined as "the percentage of those listening to radio in the MSA who are listening to a particular radio station."

The bigger worry for Cumulus in Providence market was that Lite 105 feel lost more than 40 percent of its listenership -- it fell from 18.0 to 10.7 according to Nielsen. 


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