Emmis Communications

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Emmis Communications (NASDAQEMMS) is an American media conglomerate based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company owns radio stations and magazines in the United States and Slovakia.

History[edit]

In 1980, Emmis Broadcasting founder Jeffrey Smulyan purchased his first radio station, WSVL-FM Shelbyville, IN. In July 1981, Smulyan changed the format from country music to adult contemporary and renamed the station WENS. The station's quick success led him to purchase other radio stations throughout the country.[citation needed]

Around 1984, the company bought Magic 106 in Los Angeles, California; at the time, L.A. Lakers player "Magic" Johnson was an early spokesperson for the station. In early 1986, Emmis changed Magic 106 to Power 106 KPWR. Also in 1986, the company expanded as they purchased WAPP-FM (renamed WQHT) and WHN (now WEPN) in New York as well as WAVA-FM in Washington, D.C. from the Doubleday Broadcasting Company. Both KPWR and WQHT would pioneer the rhythmic format and go on to be Emmis' two flagship radio properties.[citation needed]

Emmis acquired five NBC radio stations in 1988 but sold two to avoid a duopoly.[citation needed]

Emmis purchased the Seattle Mariners in 1989 but sold them in 1992.[citation needed]

In 1994, the company purchased WIBC and WKLR in Indianapolis from the Horizon Broadcast Corporation and WRKS in New York City from the Summit Communications Group. WKLR was changed from an oldies format to a classic hits format with the call letters of WNAP in September 1994.[citation needed]

Also in 1994, Emmis became a public company. The expansion continued as the company purchased numerous television and radio stations in the late 1990s.[citation needed]

In 1998, Emmis Broadcasting changed its name to Emmis Communications and moved into its current headquarters on Monument Circle in Indianapolis.[citation needed]

In 2003 Emmis appointed its first black VP/General Manager, Barry Mayo. He oversaw 98.7 Kiss FM, Hot 97, and WQCD (CD 101.9), all in New York City.[citation needed]

In 2005, Emmis changed the format of their first radio station from its long-term adult contemporary format to country. The call letters were changed from WENS to WLHK. Emmis was also named one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.[citation needed]

In January 2006, after 3 years in which Barry Mayo's New York station moved behind Power 105.1 as the second-tier rap station in New York, Mayo announced his departure from his post.[citation needed]

In 2006, Emmis flipped KZLA/Los Angeles to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "KMVN, Movin' 93.9". The move gives Emmis a companion station to complement KPWR. However, on April 15, 2009, KMVN switched to Spanish-language programming, KXOS, under a seven-year Local Marketing Agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City.[1]

On June 9, 2009, Emmis announced it has formed a strategic alliance with StreamTheWorld, the radio industry's streaming technology and services company, to put all Emmis radio stations on a new streaming platform.[2]

On January 12, 2011, the share price of Emmis stock surged 42% as insiders speculated that the company could be close to selling off several of its radio stations. In their January, 2011 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported that it had the necessary cash to survive through February, 2011. "Absent asset sales, which the company is actively pursuing," Emmis attorneys stated in the regulatory filing, "the company believes it is unlikely it will be able to maintain compliance with the financial covenants after Sept. 1, 2011."[3]

Controversies[edit]

Most of the controversies involving Emmis Communications have involved its stations in the New York City market.[citation needed] Among them:

  • WQHT-FM provoked a controversy in January 2005, a month after the Asian tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, by playing the Tsunami song entitled "USA for Indonesia", a parody sung to the 1985 tune "We Are the World." Listeners, politicians and civil rights groups protested in front of the station. Three persons associated with the production were suspended for two weeks, and two were terminated.[citation needed]
  • Also involving WQHT, there have been controversies involving slapping, indecency, and violence around the station's broadcast location. In 2004, as a result of continued indecency complaints, Emmis signed a consent decree with the FCC and paid a $300,000 fine.[citation needed]
  • In 2009, Don Pryor, the host of the Austin, Texas affiliate KLBJ's Todd and Don Show, used the term "wetbacks" to describe Mexican-Americans..[citation needed]
  • KLBJ's AM Morning Show has also been the focus of bigoted, and religious overtoned commentary by non-Austin resident Samuel Cox who is a retired Austin Police Department officer who in the past has said unkind words about African-Americans.[citation needed]

Company portfolio[edit]

Emmis Interactive, Inc.[edit]

Current clients include: Astral Media, Renda Broadcasting, Greater Media, Corus Entertainment, Emmis Radio, and Lincoln Financial Media

Radio[edit]

The company owns Rádio Expres in Slovakia and Sláger Rádió in Hungary, however Emmis Communications' Hungarian national radio station, Sláger, was taken off the air on November 18, 2009 because of the expiration of their broadcasting license. The license were given to another radio station, but Emmis went to court and won the trial on July 14, 2010.

It also owns the following:

Austin, Texas[edit]

Indianapolis, Indiana[edit]

Los Angeles, California[edit]

New York, New York[edit]

St. Louis, Missouri[edit]

  • KFTK-FM - 97.1 - News/Talk
  • KIHT-FM - 96.3 - Classic Hits/HD2: Classical/HD3: Smooth jazz
  • KPNT-FM - 105.7 - Modern Rock
  • KSHE-FM - 94.7 - Mainstream rock

Terre Haute, Indiana[edit]

  • WTHI-FM - 99.9 - Country
  • WWVR-FM - 105.5 - Classic Rock

Former Emmis-owned radio stations[edit]

WorldBand Media HD Radio deal[edit]

Emmis has announced on September 9, 2008 that it has teamed up with digital radio network WorldBand Media and will be using the "HD-3" subchannels to produce programming for the South Asian communities in Chicago (on WLUP), Los Angeles (on KPWR), and New York (on WQHT). It will include a combination of both local and international content and should be available by mid-October 2008.[4]

Television[edit]

Emmis announced in May 2005 announced its intent to sell some or all of the sixteen television stations they owned at the time. In August 2005 sale of nine television stations were announced, as well as four more in October, an additional station in May 2006, another station in February 2007, and its final station in May 2008. Emmis no longer owns any television stations.

Former Emmis-owned television stations[edit]

  • (##) – Indicates a station owned by Silver King Broadcasting prior to its acquisition by Emmis in 1998.
  • (¤¤) – Indicates a station owned by Lee Enterprises prior to its acquisition by Emmis in 2000.
City of license / Market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Years Owned Sold To Current Ownership Status
Mobile - Gulf Shores, Alabama WALA-TV ## 10 (9) 1998-2005 LIN TV Fox affiliate owned by Meredith Corporation
WBPG 55 (25) 2003-2006 LIN TV The CW affiliate, WFNA, owned by Media General
Tucson KGUN ¤¤ 9 (9) 2000-2005 Journal Broadcast Group ABC affiliate owned by Journal Broadcast Group
Cape Coral - Fort Myers - Naples, Florida WFTX-TV 36 (35) 1998-2005 Journal Broadcast Group Fox affiliate owned by Journal Broadcast Group
Clermont - Orlando - Daytona Beach WKCF 18 (17) 1998-2006 Hearst-Argyle Television The CW affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Honolulu KHON-TV ## 2 (8) 1998-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group Fox affiliate owned by Media General
KGMB ¤¤ 9 (now 5 (23)) 2000-2007 MCG Capital CBS affiliate owned by Raycom Media
Terre Haute, Indiana WTHI-TV 10 (10) 1998-2005 LIN TV CBS affiliate owned by Media General
Topeka, Kansas KSNT ¤¤ 27 (27) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Wichita / Hutchinson, Kansas KSNW ¤¤ 3 (45) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Great Bend KSNC ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
2 (22) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Garden City, Kansas KSNG ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
11 (11) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group NBC affiliate owned by Media General
McCook, Nebraska KSNK ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
8 (12) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group NBC affiliate owned by Media General
New Orleans WVUE-DT ## 8 (29) 1998-2008 Louisiana Media Company Fox affiliate owned by Louisiana Media Company
(Operated through a SSA by Raycom Media)
Grand Rapids - Battle Creek -
Kalamazoo, MI
WXMI 17 (19) 1998 1 Tribune Broadcasting Fox affiliate owned by Tribune Broadcasting
Omaha - Council Bluffs KMTV ¤¤ 3 (45) 2000-2007 2 Journal Broadcast Group CBS affiliate owned by Journal Broadcast Group
Manchester, New Hampshire WMUR-TV 9 (9) 2000-2001 3 Hearst-Argyle Television ABC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Albuquerque - Santa Fe KRQE ¤¤ 13 (13) 2000-2005 LIN TV CBS affiliate owned by Media General
Portland KOIN ¤¤ 6 (40) 2000-2006 Montecito Broadcast Group CBS affiliate owned by Media General
Tacoma - Seattle KTZZ 22 (25) 1998 1 Tribune Broadcasting MyNetworkTV affiliate, KZJO, owned by Tribune Broadcasting
Huntington - Charleston WSAZ-TV ¤¤ 3 (23) 2000-2005 Gray Television NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Green Bay WLUK-TV ## 11 (11) 1998-2005 LIN TV Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group

Notes:

Magazines[edit]

Article source[edit]

April 18, 2006: http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=9791

Board of Directors[edit]

  • Jeff Smulyan - Chairman of the Board, President and CEO; former owner of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners
  • Susan Bayh - Visiting Professor, Butler University
  • Gary Kaseff - Executive Vice President and General Counsel
  • Richard Leventhal - President & Majority Owner of LMCS, LLC.
  • Peter Lund - Media Consultant and former President & CEO of CBS Television.
  • Greg Nathanson - former Television Division President
  • Lawrence Sorrel - Tailwind Capital Partners
  • Patrick Walsh - Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

References[edit]

External links[edit]