St. Louis, MO, November 18, 2003 – ACME Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACME) and Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EMMS) announced today that the two companies will form a 50/50 joint venture effective January 1, 2004 to produce The Daily Buzz, a weekday morning news program. The Daily Buzz currently airs in 121 markets on broadcast and cable stations, including ACME’s eight WB affiliates and the WB 100+. Under the terms of the joint venture, beginning December 1, 2003, Emmis will air The Daily Buzz on its WB affiliates in Orlando, FL and Mobile, AL. In addition, Emmis and ACME plan to expand the show’s distribution to other third party stations across the country. The Daily Buzz is a three-hour national news program that runs weekday mornings from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and is targeted at a younger audience than the traditional networks’ morning news fare.
The new venture will operate under the name The Daily Buzz, LLC and, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, will assume responsibilities for producing and distributing The Daily Buzz on January 1, 2004, with the two companies splitting the production costs. Until that time, the show will continue to be produced and distributed by ACME Television Productions, LLC. While the show is currently produced by ACME at its WB affiliate’s studios in Dayton, OH, production is expected to move in 2004 to WKCF-TV, the Emmis WB affiliate in Orlando Florida.
Doug Gealy, President and Chief Operating Officer of ACME, commented, “Today’s joint venture with Emmis validates our original strategy of filling a programming void and assures our viewers a second season of the popular The Daily Buzz morning news program, while allowing our station group to prudently capitalize on this revamped daypart. Prior to the program’s debut in September of 2002, younger viewers had all but abandoned the standard morning news format. But, with The Daily Buzz we provide a refreshing alternative that draws our target audience and provides advertisers with an opportunity to reach this highly coveted demographic. We believe that partnering with Emmis provides an excellent opportunity to further enhance The Daily Buzz franchise. In addition, with a strong political year expected in 2004, our station group now has a proven news platform in place that will seek to attract a meaningful slice of news and political advertising budgets.”
Randall Bongarten, President of Emmis Television, commented, “The Daily Buzz is a promising news program that will provide our viewers in Orlando and Mobile with an appealing option to the morning news competition. We believe that the combined talents of Emmis and ACME, along with the larger market exposure provided by the Emmis Orlando station, will position The Daily Buzz for great success. We are excited about the distribution potential of the show, as it represents a viable solution for most WB affiliates in the U.S. that lack strong existing news operations. The Daily Buzz will enable them to effectively compete in the 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. time period. We look forward to working with ACME to take The Daily Buzz to the next level.”
The Daily Buzz, which debuted on ACME stations on September 16, 2002, features content from CNN Newsource, as well as regular features focused on entertainment, style, money, and reviews that are designed to appeal to a younger audience than typical morning news programming. The program also features local weather and local headlines from each of the respective markets.
About ACME Communications, Inc.
ACME Communications, Inc. owns and operates nine television stations serving markets covering 3.7% of the nation’s television households, making the Company the fourth largest affiliate group of The WB Television Network. The Company’s stations are: KUWB-TV, Salt Lake City, UT; KWBQ-TV and KASY-TV, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM; WBDT-TV, Dayton, OH; WBXX-TV, Knoxville, TN; WIWB-TV, Green Bay-Appleton, WI; WBUI-TV, Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, IL; WTVK-TV, Ft. Myers-Naples, FL and WBUW-TV, Madison, WI. All of the Company’s stations, except KASY-TV, a UPN affiliate, are WB Network affiliates. ACME’s shares are traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol: ACME.
Emmis Communications – Great Media, Great People, Great Service sm
Emmis Communications is an Indianapolis based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis Television stations are: WKCF-TV, WB 18 in Orlando, FL; KOIN-TV, CBS 6 in Portland, OR; WVUE-TV, FOX 8 in New Orleans; KRQE-TV, CBS 13 in Albuquerque, NM; WSAZ-TV, NBC 3 in Huntington/Charleston, WV; WALA-TV FOX 10 and WBPG-TV WB 55 in Mobile, AL/Pensacola, FL; KSNW-TV, NBC 3 in Wichita, KS; WLUK-TV, FOX 11 in Green Bay, WI; KGUN-TV, ABC 9 in Tucson, AZ; KGMB-TV, CBS 9 and KHON-TV, FOX 2 in Honolulu; KMTV-TV, CBS 3 in Omaha, NE; WFTX-TV, FOX 4 in Ft. Myers, FL; KSNT-TV, NBC 27 in Topeka, KS; and WTHI-TV, CBS 10 in Terre Haute, IN. In addition, Emmis owns 27 domestic radio stations, two radio networks, three international radio stations, regional and specialty magazines, and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales and book publishing.
Statements included in this release which are not statements of historical fact and which are identified with the words “will,” or “would” or the like, are intended to be, and are, identified as “forward-looking statements,” as defined in the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of The Daily Buzz, LLC, ACME or Emmis to be materially different from any future result, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statement. Neither ACME nor Emmis undertakes any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements because of new information, future events or otherwise.
President & Chief Operating Officer
ACME Communications, Inc.
Todd St. Onge
Brainerd Communicators, Inc.
Director, Media & Investor Relations