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.

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.


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