Core Media Group files for bankruptcy

The company, which has American Idol (pictured) and So You Think You Can Dance producer 19 Entertainment in its roster, will undergo restructuring after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York.
April 28, 2016

Core Media Group, parent company of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer 19 Entertainment among other prodcos, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York.

In a court filing, the company blamed its deteriorating financial performance on the decline in ratings for, and ultimate cancellation of, Fox reality singing competition American Idol as well as declining revenues from Idol-related broadcast fees, merchandise, tape sales and touring fees.

The last episode of Idol aired on Fox earlier this month after 15 seasons.

According to documents supporting the filing, “[T]he Company’s unsustainable capital structure, inability thus far to replace the American Idol revenue streams and inability to consummate an out-of-court restructuring with its primary creditor constituencies ultimately gave rise to the Debtors’ decision to commence these Chapter 11 cases.”

Nearly 50 affiliated debtors are registered in the filing, according to The Chapter 11 petition lists total assets of $100 to $500 million.

Core Media was part of the joint venture between 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management that merged Apollo’s Endemol and Core with Fox’s Shine Group. However, Core continued operating separately and did not become part of Endemol Shine Group.

In addition to 19 Entertainment, Core’s roster of prodcos also includes the unscripted companies Sharp Entertainment and B-17, which are not part of the bankruptcy filing.

In a statement, the company said it will undergo a restructuring under CEO Peter Hurwitz, though management changes or lay-offs are not expected. Core has 22 full-time employees, not including production staff and freelancers.

“In June 2015, with the changing landscape and one of our flagship shows in transition, we proactively engaged in discussions with our lenders regarding balance sheet optimization alternatives and a strategic restructuring,” the statement reads. “The actions we are announcing today will help best position the company for the future, allowing for more flexibility and a platform for growth.

“We expect to move through Chapter 11 expeditiously and have secured the support of our first and second lien lenders,” it continued.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.