This cruel Grim Reaper of an economy has gone too far. It came for magazines. It came for books. It came for banks. But now, it has come for our Muzak.
Muzak Holdings has filed for bankruptcy. The picture is grim: "Its total debt is between $100 million and $500 million and it has assets of less than $50,000, Muzak said in a court filing."
This is not just the beloved creator of the elevator music which soothes us in our ride skyward. It is also the beloved re-recorder of instrumental versions of popular hit songs, and the beloved customizer of brand-specific playlists designed to cater to your company's specific customer base, with the intent of pushing our subtle psychological buttons and encouraging our acquisitiveness with the power of tunes. If companies are no longer willing to pay for Muzak, what will entertain the shoppers of America as we browse?
Maybe the radio.
UPDATE: Muzak media relations person Brittany Lyke writes us:
I'm writing on behalf of Muzak to address some misinformation you posted on Gawker.com. We understand that the AP misstated our financial information and have reached out to them for a correction. Updated, accurate financial information has since been reported by Bloomberg and the New York Times.
Simply put, our picture is not grim. Unfortunately, debt that was incurred a decade ago came due at a very challenging time, which limited options that would have ordinarily been available to an operationally healthy and profitable company like us. Our revenue has increased significantly over the last few years, so today's economy didn't have an impact on our situation from a subscription perspective.
Our creditors understand that we are operationally sound and are confident in our ability to continue the trajectory of success we have worked hard to establish. The Chapter 11 filing is simply a means to formalize the restructuring of our outstanding debt, and we intend to remain in business for a long time to come
She also says she's a "serious Gawker and Jezebel fan" so let's hope she remains employed for years to come.