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.

 

Emmis Timeline

1999
1999

Emmis purchases Country Sampler magazine.

1999

Liberty Media purchases 2.7 million shares of Emmis for approximately $150 million.

1998
1998

Emmis purchases Texas Monthly.

1998

Emmis moves to new worldwide headquarteres on Monument Circle, Indianapolis.

1998

Emmis Broadcasting changes name to Emmis Communications Corporation.

1998

Emmis forges into television business by acquiring 6 TV stations. Emmis purchases radio stations WRXP in New York, WHTI and WWVR in Terre Haute.

1997
1997

Emmis enters the world of international radio when the company is awarded a license to operate a new national radio network in Hungary Slgur Rdi. Emmis purchases WXYB in Indianapolis, and Cincinnati Magazine.

1995
1995

Emmis becomes the first company to own top-rated stations in New York and LA simultaneously. Jeff Smulyan voted one of the 10 most influential radio executives of the past two decades by top radio industry publication, R&R.

1994
1994

Emmis becomes a public company (EMMS: NASDAQ). Emmis WIBC and WFNI-AM in Indianapolis and WRKS in New York.

1993
1993

Emmis purchases Atlanta magazine.

1988
1988

Emmis enters world of Publishing with the purchase of Indianapolis Monthly. Emmis purchases WQHT in New York and WKQX in Chicago.

1984
1984

Emmis purchases KPWR in Los Angeles and KSHE in St. Louis

1981
1981

WENS (formerly WSVL, currently WLHK) goes on the air with and adult contemporary format.

1980
1980

Emmis (the Hebrew word for truth) incorporated in Indiana

1970
1970

Jeff Smulyan and friends purchase WSVL in Shelbyville.