* Citadel sees bankruptcy exit in 300 days - lawyer
* Court approves company's requests to access its cash
* Says has $36 mln in cash on hand today
By Chelsea Emery
NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - U.S. radio broadcaster Citadel Broadcasting Corp CTDB.OB could exit bankruptcy in just 300 days under its prenegotiated deal with lenders, a lawyer for the company told a court on Monday.
Citadel, which broadcasts the Don Imus "Imus in the Morning" show with ABC Radio Networks, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday, hurt by $2.08 billion in debt and a decline in advertising by auto, banking and restaurant companies. [ID:nN20207132]
At the company's "first day" court hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Monday Jonathan Henes, a bankruptcy attorney at Kirkland & Ellis representing the company said the company believes exiting bankruptcy protection in the next 300 days is "doable" under its current plan.
Judge Burton Lifland approved requests from Citadel to continue to operate its cash management system, use its cash collateral, and pay certain employee wages.
The company has $36 million in cash on the books at present, and projects it will have $63 million in cash in seven weeks, a lawyer for the company told the court.
"Cash is exactly what this company needs to stabilize operations and continue business," Joshua Sussberg, another Citadel attorney from Kirkland & Ellis, said at the hearing.
Citadel, the third-largest U.S. radio broadcaster, said in court documents that shareholders will be wiped out under the proposed reorganization plan.
The case is: In re: Citadel Broadcasting Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-17442. (Reporting by Chelsea Emery, writing by Emily Chasan, editing by Matthew Lewis)