Top FCC Republican Wants No Audacy ‘Soros Shortcut’

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The emergence from debtor-in-possession status of Audacy Inc. is expected to transpire soon. That’s what many across the radio industry have heard from weeks. However, there’s one important component of the company’s restructuring plan that has become a topic of conversation among conservative political leaders in Washington.


According to the current plan, a fund controlled by Democratic activist and investor George Soros will emerge as Audacy’s largest shareholder, adding to its investment in Latino Media Network (LMN). Getting regulatory approval of the deal won’t involve any “Soros shortcut,” Brendan Carr has pledged.

His comments come following a warning from House Member Chip Roy (R-Tex.), who told FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in April not to fast track the Audacy Chapter 11 emergence effort.

Speaking to right-leaning tabloid the New York Post, Carr said plainly, “The FCC should not create a special Soros shortcut … When it comes to a broadcast station acquisition of this size and magnitude — hundreds of radio stations across more than 45 markets — the FCC needs to run its full and normal review process. The FCC should not be skipping steps or waiving required agency processes.”

Audacy’s restructuring plan was approved in February by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in February. FCC approval has yet to come.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed their desire to ensure rigorous oversight of Soros Fund Management’s acquisition of $400 million in debt from Audacy. This would make Soros the top equity holder post-bankruptcy for the company formerly known as Entercom. At issue is a request from Soros’ group to obtain a waiver to defer addressing the issue. That has sounded alarms among certain GOP Members of Congress about potential undue foreign influence on American media, given George Soros’ liberal affiliations.

As Audacy awaits word from the Commission on its court-approved bankruptcy emergence plan, the audio content creation and distribution company with shares trading at 11 cents on an Over-the-Counter market has used the time to streamline its podcast and sports divisions. It has also resolved an local and business tax dispute with Lower Merion Township, Pa., agreeing to pay $1.4 million to conclude the matter without any admission of liability by either party.

— With reporting by Cameron Coats, in New York

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