Debut signs new loans and Rick Dees


Debut Broadcasting Corporation announced completion of major steps in its reorganization strategy. And its radio syndication subsidiary, Impact Radio Networks, announced a content deal with legendary DJ Rick Dees.

The deal with Dees and his Burbank, CA-based Dees Entertainment Inc. is to produce and distribute terrestrial radio content and new media. The announcement said plans include leverage of the existing archive of “Rick Dees Weekly Top 40” programs from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and a new weekly countdown featuring Dees’ son, Kevin Dees, called the “Teen Top Twenty.” The agreement also incorporates new media content for radio station websites, including on-line music channels, mobile phone applications, and on-demand podcasts.

As for the financial restructuring…

Debut said it eliminated two debt facilities, one with Regions Bank and the other with Bank of America, in favor of a new, long-term facility with Crestmark Bank. The deal reduces overall debt costs and makes additional working capital available, the company said, “which is a critical step in the company’s re-structuring efforts.”

Publicly traded Debut also closed a new, revised debt facility with Remington Partners which results in Remington taking a larger stake in the company. “That modification is the last major element of the debt re-structuring, and along with other recent board actions essentially marks successful completion of the re-structuring process, allowing us to move forward in a lot of other areas in coming weeks,” said Debut CEO Steven Ludwig.

Debut Broadcasting said it continues to evaluate and execute an expansion strategy. “There are potentially accretive acquisitions available, and we are exploring the best ways to deploy the new capital available,” Ludwig said. And commenting on recent high-profile bankruptcy filings within the radio industry, the CEO added, “Management’s analysis is that there is a short window where prices have swung too far down, based on short-term distress and the recent lack of access to capital, and acquisition in this environment has the potential to create exceptional value for shareholders over the next 3-5 years.”

What might those acquisitions be? Stay tuned.