Just weeks after the final episode of “American Idol” aired on Fox, the company behind the long-running show is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Variety reports that Core Media Group, home of 19 Entertainment, was expected to file today in New York.
Along with the worldwide “Idol” franchise, 19 Entertainment is behind Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” “American Idol” wrapped April 7 after 15 seasons.
“Core was part of the joint venture that 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management created in 2014 with the merger of Apollo’s Endemol and Core with Fox’s Shine Group,” Variety reports. “But Core continued to operate under a separate capital structure and was never integrated into what became Endemol Shine Group. Moreover, Fox was shielded from liability for Core’s debts as part of the merger agreement as the company’s deteriorating financial condition was evident at the time of the deal.”
Core has been dealing with debt problems for more than two years, and reportedly was carrying at least $300 million in debt as of last year.
“The bankruptcy filing is supported by two of Core’s key lenders, Crestview Partners and Tennenbaum Capital, which will assume ownership of the company from Fox and Apollo following the completion of the Chapter 11 process,” Variety notes. “Discussions about the Chapter 11 filing have been under way with lenders for about a year, a Core rep said.”