Indianapolis….Emmis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: EMMS) today announced that the company has reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office over its investigation of the WQHT-FM (Hot 97) “Smackfest” contest.
“Despite the fact that the contestants voluntarily participated in what was supposed to be harmless entertainment, it was not our finest hour, and New York City deserves better,” Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings said. “We have listened to the concerns and worked closely with the Attorney General’s office to come to an agreement that will benefit and educate the community.”
As part of the settlement, Emmis has agreed to pay $240,000 to the State of New York, with an additional $60,000 going to Safe Horizon. Safe Horizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities (www.safehorizon.org).
“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with the community that means so much to us,” Emmis Senior VP/GM Barry Mayo echoed. “In addition to supporting and working with Safe Horizon, Hot 97 will launch a vigorous anti-violence campaign, which will include public service announcements, public affairs programming and the distribution of Safe Horizon literature from the Hot 97 fleet of vans. We are completely committed to this.”
“With one in three women nationwide having experienced violence at the hands of a partner, Safe Horizon opposes any glorification of violence,” Gordon J. Campbell, CEO of Safe Horizon, said. “We are happy that Hot 97 agreed that this unfortunate incident will not be repeated, and we intend to use the settlement money to increase awareness about domestic violence. For more information, please visit www.safehorizon.org.”
The parties have submitted the settlement to the court for approval.
Emmis Communications – Great Media, Great People, Great Service ®
Emmis is an Indianapolis-based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis owns 23 FM and 2 AM domestic radio stations serving the nation’s largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as well as Phoenix, St. Louis, Austin, Indianapolis and Terre Haute, IN. Emmis has recently announced its intent to seek strategic alternatives for its 16 television stations, which could result in the sale of all or a portion of its television assets. In addition, Emmis owns a radio network, international radio stations, regional and specialty magazines and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales and book publishing.