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- 1 History
- 2 Controversies
- 3 Company portfolio
- 3.1 Emmis Interactive, Inc.
- 3.2 Radio
- 3.3 WorldBand Media HD Radio Deal
- 3.4 Television
- 3.5 Magazines
- 3.6 Article Source
- 4 Board of Directors
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
Emmis Interactive, Inc.
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:
- KBPA - 103.5 - BOB-FM
- KGSR - 93.3 - AAA
- KLZT - 107.1 - Regional Mexican/HD2: Spanish CHR
- KLBJ-AM - 590 - News/Talk (simulcasting on K259AJ-FM 99.7)
- KLBJ-FM - 93.7 - Classic rock/HD2: Blues
- KROX-FM - 101.5 - Alternative rock
- WFNI-AM - 1070 - Sports
- WIBC - 93.1 - News/Talk (HD2: simulcasting WFNI Sports)
- WLHK-FM - 97.1 - Hank FM/Country
- WYXB-FM - 105.7 - Adult Contemporary/AC
- WBLS-FM - 107.5 - Urban Adult Contemporary
- WEPN-FM - 98.7 - Sports Radio (operated by ESPN Radio/LMA by the Walt Disney Company under a local marketing agreement)
- WLIB - 1190 - Urban Contemporary Gospel
- WQHT-FM - 97.1 - Rhythmic Top 40
- 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
WorldBand Media HD Radio Deal
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.
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 and Operated Stations
- Now owned by Gray Television:
- Charleston/Huntington - WSAZ
- Now owned by Hearst Television:
- Now owned by Raycom Media:
- Now owned by Journal Broadcast Group:
- Now owned by LIN Television:
- Now owned by Louisiana Media Company:
- New Orleans - WVUE
- Now owned by Radio One Inc
- Indianapolis - WNOU
- Now owned by Tribune Broadcasting (both stations sold pre-2005):
April 18, 2006: http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=9791
Board of Directors
- 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
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