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Friday, April 29, 2016

‘American Idol’ Owner Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

A top reality show producer, Core Media currently has $398 million in debt.

Core Media Group, the company behindAmerican Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York.

Core was founded a decade ago and was recently brought into a joint venture owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management. But as Idol has now aired its last show, it appears as though Core envisions some restructuring. In the bankruptcy filing, the company says it owes $398 million to third parties including from two matured loans from Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Crestview Media Investors, Bayside Capital and Hudson Bay Capital Management.

Idol creator Simon Fuller is the company’s no. 1 unsecured creditor and is owed $3.37 million. A payment demand on April 11 from Fuller is one of the factors cited in the bankruptcy papers as contributing to the decision to file for bankruptcy. A declaration filed in court says that after Fuller left in 2010, he was given a profit share of his shows and money as a consultant. A statutory demand for payment served by Fuller in the U.K. brought the prospect that he could commence winding-up proceedings on Core affiliate 19 Entertainment.

As the second biggest unsecured creditor, former Core chief Marc Graboff, who is now overseeing studio operations at Discovery, is owed $1.32 million in severance.


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