In the most outward sign yet that it’s “business as usual” at Cumulus Media despite its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the company has signed a new multi-year ratings contract extension with Nielsen. That’s significant because Nielsen is one of the largest unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 filing, owed $6.6 million by Cumulus in unpaid ratings bills.
“We believe that this new deal is a powerful third-party endorsement of the continued strength of our business, and it should allay any fears that may be lingering about our ability to operate the business going forward,” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner tells Inside Radio in her first interview since the company began the court-supervised bankruptcy process on Nov. 29 to reduce its nearly $2 billion in debt.
The agreement includes Nielsen’s radio and network radio ratings services for Cumulus and Westwood One’s 446 radio stations across 90 local markets. Beyond core audio ratings services, Cumulus and Westwood One will continue to have access to local qualitative behavioral data from Nielsen Scarborough, enhanced talent analytics from Nielsen N-Score and national network ratings from Nielsen RADAR. The deal also extends Westwood One’s use of Nielsen Marketing Cloud and Pointlogic for enhanced purchase-based marketing and media planning functions.