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Emmis Communications Corp. Message Board

  • longtimefollower longtimefollower May 12, 2012 12:24 PM Flag

    Inside Radio reports on Emmis's earnings release.

    An excellent and well well written summation, I thought. (See below for the summation.) They also did a second story on the "numbers" behind the release. But I feel I'd be violating copyright to be posting that long of an excerpt. I suggest you consider subscribing. Frankly, the publication, which comes out daily, has been invaluable to me, in managing my radio investments, over the last 3 or so years. (They report on proprietary surveys of industry insiders, including CEO's and all, that give you leading information on revenue and other trends in the industry. And the publishers seem incredibly well connected, in the entire industry, to me.)

    The “new Emmis” rebuilds around core assets, new partnerships and looking beyond radio. Armed with what he calls “a nearly pristine balance sheet” following the sale or lease of four stations in two of radio’s largest markets, CEO Jeff Smulyan says Emmis Communications has entered “a new era.” It’s one that will be marked by new partnerships and looking beyond the company’s core assets of radio and regional and city magazines. “We’ll look at everything,” he told investors during the company’s financial results call yesterday. To that end, Emmis has already made a small investment in Indianapolis-based Courseload, which provides e-textbooks to universities. “We’ll probably grow in some interesting areas,” Smulyan said. “As we look at larger strategic opportunities, we’ll probably seek to partner with groups that have large capital accounts. We now look at a playing field that’s open.” Thanks to what he characterized as a “superb” management team, Smulyan said the company is capable of “some much larger things but we want to do them in a way that is prudently financed.” After shedding $1.5 billion in debt during the last six years, he says Emmis remains firmly committed to its remaining radio assets. The company finally has the opportunity to “competitively market and further” its radio brands as it works to rebuild itself around two iconic hip-hop brands: New York’s “Hot 97” WQHT and L.A.’s “Power 106” KPWR. The “new Emmis,” Smulyan pledged, will focus on “the things we do well” (radio and magazines) and “spotlight the trends we think are important.” But first it has some unfinished legal business to tend to. Emmis is due in federal court June 1 over litigation with a group of dissident preferred shareholders. “We believe very strongly our plans comport with the contract that our preferred people have and with Indiana law,” Smulyan says. “We’ll have our day in court and we’re excited about it.”

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