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

2010
2010

WIBC, KSHE, and KROX nominated for Marconi Award.

2009
2009

Texas Monthly wind the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

2009

KPWR-FM is one of the 10 largest billing radio stations in the US.

2009

Emmis Hungarian National Radio station taken off the air.

2008
2008

Emmis Interactive becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Emmis Operating Company and begins marketing its services to radio broadcasters and other local media companies

2008

Eight leading radio companies form a joint venture, the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, to build a first-of-its-kind nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology. Emmis is a founding member.

2008

Emmis sale of WVUE-TV in New Orleans completes the divesture of Emmis television division.

2007
2007

Emmis purchases Orange Coast magazine.

2007

Emmis purchases STAR FM in Bulgaria.

2006
2006

Emmis purchases Radio Expres in Slovakia and majority control of Radio Fresh! in Bulgaria.

2006

Jeff Smulyan receives the Golden Mike award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

2006

Emmis declares special $4 cash dividend to common shareholders. Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan requests a $1 salary for the coming year to indicate his commitment to the company and its employees.

2005
2005

Emmis begins selling TV assets.

2005

Emmis purchases WLUP in Chicago.

2005

Emmis purchases majority control of Radio FM Plus in Bulgaria.

2003
2003

Emmis purchases KLBJ-AM, KLBJ-FM, KGSR, KROX, KLZT, and KBPA in Austin.

2002
2002

Emmis announces the purchase of its 16th TV station, WBPG-TV, the WB affiliate in Mobile/Pensacola.

2000
2000

Emmis stock splits 2-for-1.

2000

Emmis purchases KIHT, KPNT and KFTK in St. Louis.

2000

Emmis purchases Los Angeles magazine.