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Report: Citadel Broadcasting prepares for Chap. 11

Radio station owner Citadel Broadcasting is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by year-end in a move to lessen its debt burden, according to a published report.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the nation's third-largest radio broadcaster presented a deal to lenders under which it would file a prearranged bankruptcy plan that would have the support of many creditors.

The reorganization would be aimed at trimming Citadel's debt to about $760 million, the paper said. Citadel would turn over majority control of the company to certain lenders in exchange for them erasing a substantial chunk of the $2 billion of debt they are owed. Current shareholders' investment would be wiped out.

Lenders have until Tuesday to accept the deal.

Las Vegas-based Citadel warned last month that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection because of its heavy debt load, as well as a decline in advertising revenue that has hurt many broadcasters.

Citadel didn't immediately return messages left seeking comment. The company's financial adviser, Lazard Ltd., declined to comment on the report.

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