Cumulus Media files for bankruptcy protection

(Reuters) - U.S. radio broadcaster Cumulus Media Inc CMLS.PK filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it has entered into a restructuring agreement with certain of its lenders to reduce more than $1 billion in debt.

Cumulus expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout the restructuring process, the company said in a statement.

The company said it has “ample cash on hand” and does not intend to seek debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

“The debt overhang left by previous years of underperformance remains a significant financial challenge that we must overcome for our operational turnaround to proceed,” Chief Executive Mary Berner said.

The company's bigger rival IHeartMedia Inc IHRT.PK is also struggling to find a solution to significantly slash its debt pile outside of bankruptcy court.

IHeartMedia, the largest owner of U.S. radio stations that has more than 250 million monthly listeners in the United States, said in May there was substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.

Cumulus filed the petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier