Mary Berner, the new CEO of Cumulus Media, held her first full year conference call with Wall Street investors Thursday after the market closed. This is the first quarter for which she was responsible for running the company. The financial numbers were atrocious.
With the specter of a possible collapse of Iheartmedia in the next two weeks, it was very important that she address Wall Street’s concerns that she has no experience in the radio business, and that she has a solid plan to turn the company around.
Handout (PDF) (Nice graphics!)
The single most important accomplishment she cited was the decision to sell the company’s private jet. The $6.4 million proceeds will be used to pay down the $1.8 billion in debt and the operational savings will pay for employee bonuses.
One of Rush Limbaugh’s reoccurring themes is how liberals place value in symbolism rather than in substance. Most of the Cumulus stations are located in small cities without reasonable commercial air service. While initially some employees might see this as punishing “arrogant” Lew Dickey for wasteful spending, the smarter people realize quickly this means New York City based Mary Berner will never be visiting them out in flyover country.
After the first 15 minutes of trading this morning, the stock is down 18% on very heavy volume. The decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy will now be very straight forward.