The Emmis Story

One of the nation’s most respected media companies, Emmis Communications (NASDAQ: EMMS) owns radio, city/regional magazine, online, and mobile operations in large and medium-sized markets throughout the United States.

Emmis is consistently recognized for its unique people-centric culture that emphasizes innovation and creativity. The Company has been named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been recognized as a Best Place to Work.. Passionate, knowledgeable and deeply committed to each of the communities in which it operates, Emmis promotes a company-wide “Open Door” attitude that encourages the sharing of opinions and perspectives. The company’s logo – a large “e” pushing beyond the boundaries of a box – exemplifies the company philosophy of encouraging unique approaches to solving problems and generating new ideas.

Emmis launched in 1979 when founder and Chairman Jeffrey Smulyan purchased WSVL, a small and largely unused FM station in Shelbyville, IN. From the outset, Smulyan’s intent was to build a tower near Indianapolis and broadcast a competitive signal into the market. After two years of difficulty and delays, Smulyan’s vision was realized when the station went on the air July 4, 1981 with new call letters WENS and the station was an almost instant hit with an adult contemporary format, creative marketing and on-air talent that included David Letterman.

Building on success at WENS, Smulyan and Emmis have gone on to become known as industry innovators. The company created the nation’s first 24-hour all-sports radio station (New York City’s WFAN); the first rhythmic Top 40 station (KPWR 106 in LA); and the first adult classic soul station (KISS-FM in New York). Emmis also became the first company to own the top-rated radio stations in LA and New York simultaneously. The innovations continue today with Emmis being the leading advocate of enabling FM-chips in smartphones and other mobile devices. The Company has developed NextRadio that allows consumers to access interactive, visually appealing FM Radio on smartphones and in the future automobile dashboards. In keeping with its spirit of innovation, Emmis has also seen tremendous growth and creativity from Emmis Digital and Incite, its cause marketing division.

Emmis (the Hebrew word for “truth”) went public in 1994 and now owns 11 FM and 3 AM radio stations in Austin (Emmis has a 50.1% controlling interest), Indianapolis and New York. Emmis owns a controlling interest in Digonex, a dynamic pricing company and Indianapolis Monthly, a regional magazine.

 

Emmis Timeline

2018
2018

St. Louis radio cluster sold to Hubbard (KSHE-FM and KPNT-FM) and Entercom (KFTK-FM and KNOU-FM)

2018

Emmis announces reduced focus on NextRadio

2017
2017

January Terre Haute radio cluster (WTHI 99.9 FM, WWVR 105.5 FM, WFNB 92.7 FM, and WFNF 1130 AM/99.5 FM) sold in three transactions.

2017

February Atlanta, Cincinnati, Orange Coast and Los Angeles magazines sold to Hour Media.

2017

1070 The Fan (AM) expands to 107.5 FM

2017

August KPWR-FM, Los Angeles, sold to Meruelo Group

2016
2016

November Texas Monthly sold to Genesis Park

2015
2015

Patrick Walsh named President and COO; Ryan Hornaday named EVP/CFO

2014
2014

February Emmis announces acquisition of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM in New York $131 million accretive transaction nearly doubles companys station operating income.

2014

June Emmis purchases controlling interest in dynamic pricing company Digonex.

2013
2013

January Bulgaria radio interests sold.

2013

February Slovakia radio interests sold.

2013

August Radio industry delivers FM-enabled smartphone app to consumer.

2012
2012

April Emmis announces LMA with ESPN Radio to provide programming and sell advertising on New Yorks 98.7FM. Emmis also entered into a transaction to sell the intellectual property rights of Kiss FM, the current format Emmis programs on 98.7FM, to YMF Media.

2012

August Emmis Acquires Terre Hautes WSDM-FM/WSDX-AM; Emmis-Terre Haute Moves Into New Facility.

2012

October Emmis sells Emmis Interactive to Marketron.

2012

October Country Sampler sold.

2011
2011

Emmis launches Incite, a full-service social impact marketing firm.

2011

Emmis completes the transfer of WKQX-FM (101.1 MHz, Chicago, IL), WLUP-FM (97.9 MHz, Chicago, IL) and WRXP-FM (101.9 MHz, New York, NY) to Merlin Media.

2010
2010

Emmis Interactive revenue doubles.