US radio and streaming giant iHeartMedia has announced plans to cut $250m of costs this year, in an expansion of its previous $50m plan to tackle the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measures include furloughing what the company deems to be ‘non-essential’ staff and the imposition of salary reductions at the senior level, as well as for other employees. iHeartMedia is also imposing a freeze on hiring, and pulling back on consultancy fees considerably. “We want our shareholders to know that we have taken immediate and proactive steps to weather this crisis, and we expect to emerge even stronger given our sufficient liquidity, the continued strength of consumer listening, and our diversified multiple platforms, including digital and especially podcasting,” said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.

This comes a mere fortnight after iHeartMedia withdrew its financial guidance for 2020, and drew on $350m of a pre-agreed credit facility, with Pittman also forgoing his salary and bonuses for the rest of the year. iHeartMedia joins Eventbrite and Live Nation from the live sphere in announcing its plans for cuts.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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