Emmis Announces Sale of Indianapolis Radio Cluster to Urban One

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 13, 2022
Contact: Kate Snedeker, kate@emmis.com

Indianapolis…Emmis Communications today announced an agreement to sell its Emmis Indianapolis radio stations to Urban One, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

The sale includes B105 (WYXB 105.7FM), HANK FM (97.1FM), The Fan (93.5FM and 107.5FM), WIBC (93.1FM) and Network Indiana.

“When Emmis launched our first station, WENS now HANK FM, in 1981, I never could have envisioned the journey we would go on. Indianapolis is my hometown, and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish – we’ve become an invaluable contributor to the Indianapolis community, a leader of radio industry initiative and innovation, and a trusted resource for Central Indiana listeners and businesses,” said Jeff Smulyan, founder and chairman of Emmis.

Smulyan noted that Urban One has deep media experience, including lengthy experience as an Indianapolis radio and television operator, significant resources, and a commitment to local radio.

In recent years, Emmis has sold many of its media assets and redeployed capital into new ventures which emphasize its sales and marketing experience including: Lencore Acoustics, a leader in high-quality sound masking solutions for commercial applications; Sound That BRANDS, the Los Angeles-based podcasting studio specializing in branded audio content for national advertisers; and Digonex, a leading provider of dynamic pricing solutions for attractions and live entertainment industries. Emmis also operates Indianapolis Monthly magazine and owns two radio station licenses in New York (1190AM and 98.7FM).

Emmis Indianapolis Radio has 77 full-time and 50 part-time employees, all based in the company’s Monument Circle Headquarters.

The sale will close once the transaction receives approval from the FCC, which may take several months. Until that time, Emmis will continue to own and operate the stations.

Background on the stations

Emmis purchased WIBC (formerly 1070 now 93.1 FM) in 1994 from Horizon Broadcast Group. WIBC is Indianapolis’ news talk leader. The frequency moved to 93.1 FM in 2007.

HANK FM (97.1 FM) was formerly WENS, the first station owned by Emmis. Purchased in 1979, the signal was moved to Indianapolis, and launched in 1981 with an adult contemporary format. The station switched formats in March 2005 to its current country format.

Indianapolis’ sports talk leader The Fan is home of the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers and the Indy 500. It currently operates at 93.5 and 107.5. It was launched in 2007 on the former 1070 signal (when WIBC moved to 93.1 FM) and moved to 107.5 in 2017, and added 93.5 in 2019.

WYXB, known as B105.7, launched in 2001. Emmis had purchased the frequency (but not the intellectual property) from WTLC, and it airs an adult contemporary format.

Network Indiana provides news, talk and sports programming to more than 70 radio stations serving the state of Indiana. Emmis purchased Network Indiana in 1998 from the Hulman Family.



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