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Irving Azoff Steps Down From iHeartMedia Board

Variety logo Variety 5/5/2017 Gene Maddaus
© Provided by Variety

iHeartMedia announced on Friday that music industry veteran Irving Azoff has resigned from the company’s board.

Azoff, longtime manager for The Eagles and Christina Aguilera, among others, has been a staunch supporter of the radio giant as iHeart attempts to forestall a bankruptcy filing by pursuing an exchange offer with its debtholders. In an 8-K filing, iHeart stated that Azoff’s decision to step down did not arise from any disagreements over the direction of the company.

Azoff had been on the board since September 2010. In 2013, Azoff launched Global Music Rights, an upstart music licensing company that represents a handful of top artists.

In recent months, Azoff has gone to war with the Radio Music License Committee, which negotiates with licensing companies on behalf of the nation’s radio stations. After talks broke down with GMR last fall, the two sides filed competing anti-trust lawsuits against each other, which remain pending in federal court.

In light of the legal battle — which Azoff has called the most important fight of his career — Azoff’s continued presence on the board of the nation’s largest radio company may have become untenable.

iHeart is straining under the burden of $20 billion in debt, and recently announced that it may not be able to remain a “going concern” for the next 12 months. In an interview with Variety in February, Azoff called iHeart an “incredible company” with a “terrible balance sheet.”

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