Soros-Linked Entities Expand Media Presence with Audacy Debt Investment

Earlier this month, Soros Fund Management, the investment firm founded by George Soros, acquired over $400 million worth of debt owed by Audacy, the nation’s second-largest network of radio stations, according to bankruptcy filings. This move reflects Soros’s ongoing involvement in media-related ventures.

Audacy is currently pursuing a restructuring arrangement that would grant equity stakes to debt holders in proportion to their owed debt, pending court approval, the company announced.

A Republican source, speaking to the New York Post, speculated that Soros’s acquisition might aim to influence public opinion ahead of the 2024 election. Audacy owns more than 200 radio stations nationwide, making it second only to radio giant iHeartMedia in size.

The Audacy purchase adds to a series of media-related moves by Soros and affiliated entities. In 2022, the Latino Media Network, backed by Soros-affiliated Lakestar Finance, acquired 18 Spanish-language radio stations for approximately $60 million. Some hosts left these stations citing editorial disputes, coinciding with concerns about Democratic support among Hispanics.

Soros’s philanthropic arms have also invested heavily in local news operations. The Foundation to Promote Open Society provided significant funding to the Lenfest Institute and the Institute for Nonprofit News, both supporting local media outlets nationwide. Additionally, Open Society Foundations reportedly supported the National Trust for Local News, which facilitated the purchase of 22 news publications in Maine.

Soros’s support for nonprofit local news has drawn scrutiny, particularly concerning organizations like Courier Newsroom, accused of partisan bias in favor of Democrats. Despite criticisms, an Open Society spokesperson reiterated the foundation’s commitment to a free and independent media.

Soros’s involvement in media ventures has been extensive, dating back to at least 2003. However, a spokesperson for Soros did not respond immediately to requests for comment from the DCNF.