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- 1 History
- 2 Controversies
- 3 Company portfolio
- 3.1 Emmis Interactive, Inc.
- 3.2 Magazines
- 3.3 NextRadio app
- 3.4 Radio
- 3.4.1 Currently owned stations - Europe
- 3.4.2 Currently owned stations - United States
- 3.4.3 Former Emmis-owned radio stations
- 3.4.4 WorldBand Media HD Radio deal
- 3.5 Television
- 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 1987, Emmis would transform WHN into the world's first all-sports radio station, WFAN.
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, and the call letters were changed from WENS to WLHK. Emmis was also named one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For. In March of that year, Emmis Communications and 98.7 KISS-FM, NY celebrated Women's History Month by introducing their first annual salute to Phenomenal Women (also referred to as the Phenomenal Woman Awards).
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."
On August 16, 2013, Emmis launched the NextRadio smartphone app on HTC One Android phones from Sprint. A deal struck between the radio industry and Sprint facilitated the launch which subsequently enabled FM radio support for the app on additional Android devices available on the Sprint wireless network.
- KLBJ's AM Morning Show was accused of several bigoted, and religious overtoned commentaries by non-Austin resident Sgt. Samuel Cox who is a retired Austin Police Department officer who in the past has said words considered unkind about blacks. Cox has since retired from the radio station.
- 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..
- WQHT 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.
Emmis Interactive, Inc.
The NextRadio® smartphone app was developed by Emmis, with support from the National Association of Broadcasters, to take advantage of mobile devices with activated internal FM receivers. NextRadio allows users of select FM-enabled smartphones to listen to live broadcast FM radio while receiving supplemental data such as album art, program information, and metadata over the internet. Launched in August 2013 through a radio industry agreement with Sprint Corporation, the app is available preloaded on select devices it is also available for download in the Google Play Store.
The NextRadio app is powered by TagStation®, an Emmis-developed cloud data service for enhanced radio broadcasting. TagStation allows broadcasters a web-based platform for managing supplemental content for delivery to the NextRadio app, HD Radio receivers, and connected car dashboards.
Currently owned stations - Europe
- Rádio Expres in Slovakia
- Sláger Rádió in Hungary. 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.
Currently owned stations - United States
- KBPA/103.5: BOB-FM
- KGSR/93.3: AAA
- KLZT/107.1: Regional Mexican/HD2: Spanish CHR
- KLBJ/590: News/Talk (simulcasting on K259AJ-FM 99.7)
- KLBJ-FM/93.7: Classic rock/HD2: Blues
- KROX-FM/101.5: Alternative rock
- KLZT-HD2/102.7: Spanish Pop/HD2: Spanish CHR
- WFNI - 93.5/1070 - Sports
- WIBC - 93.1 - News/Talk (HD2: simulcasting WFNI Sports)
- WLHK - 97.1 - Hank FM/Country
- WYXB - 105.7 - Adult Contemporary/AC
- WBLS - 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 - 97.1 - Urban Contemporary/Hip Hop/Rhythmic Top 40
- KFTK-FM - 97.1 - News/Talk
- KNOU - 96.3 - Classic Hits/HD2: Classical/HD3: Smooth jazz
- KPNT - 105.7 - Modern Rock
- KSHE - 94.7 - Mainstream rock
- WFNB - 92.7 - Hot AC/Adult Rock Hits
- WFNF - 1130 - All Sports - affiliated with ESPN Radio
- WTHI-FM - 99.9 - Country
- WWVR - 105.5 - Classic Rock
Former Emmis-owned radio stations
- Sold to Merlin Media;Now owned by Cumulus Media
- Now owned by Radio One Inc
- Indianapolis - WNOU
- Now owned by CBS Radio
- New York City - WFAN-FM - managed by Emmis from 1996 to 2001. Owned by Emmis 2001-2011. Was WQCD CD 101.9 playing Smooth Jazz/AC from August 1988 to February 2008. Became Modern Rock/Triple A hybrid WRXP in 2008. Sold to Merlin in 2011 - flipped to All News WEMP in July. Reverted to Rock as WRXP in the Summer of 2012. Sold To CBS and flipped to Sports WFAN-FM simulcasting WFAN November 2012
- WHN/WFAN - 1986-1988 - bought the station as WHN which played Country and Southern Pop daytime and sports at night. Emmis expanded the Sports format to full-time on July 1, 1987 and dropped the WHN calls in favor of WFAN. Sold only the station license and transmitter (excluding building, contents, and intellectual WFAN Unit) to Spanish Broadcasting System to buy the 660 AM WNBC license and transmitter (and again excluding the WNBC Intellectual unit, building space, and contents such as equipment) to move the intellectual WFAN unit there. In October 1988 when WFAN's Unit moved to 660, 1050 took a Spanish AC format and became WUKQ. SBS swapped the station to Jewish Forward for 97.9 FM. The Spanish AC format went to 97.9 FM as WSKQ and the Jewish/Ethnic/Brokered programming from the WEVD unit moved to AM 1050 making that station WEVD. WEVD became an affiliate of ESPN Radio in 2001 and sold to ABC soon after becoming WEPN. When the ESPN Radio format went to 98.7 as WEPN-FM, AM 1050 took the Spanish feed of ESPN radio as WEPN.
- WFAN - 1988-1992 - The WFAN All Sports unit moved from 1050 to 660 October 1988. Neither Emmis or CBS claim history of AM 660 prior to 1988 when the station was WNBC playing a mix of talk, AC, Sports, and oldies (Was Hot AC and Top 40 in the late 70's till about 1985) while Emmis does claim 1050's history. Emmis kept Imus In The Morning but otherwise 660 was WFAN's Intellectual unit. Emmis sold WFAN to Infinity Radio in 1992 which in a corporate deal became owned by CBS in 1997.
WorldBand Media HD Radio deal
Emmis announced on September 9, 2008 that it had teamed up with digital radio network WorldBand Media and would 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), and would include a combination of local and international content that should be available by mid-October 2008.
In May 2005, Emmis announced its intent to sell some or all of the 16 television stations they owned at the time. In August 2005, the company announced the sale of nine television stations, 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
- (##) – 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
|Years Owned||Current Ownership Status|
|Mobile - Gulf Shores, Alabama||WALA-TV ##||10 (9)||1998-2005||Fox affiliate owned by Meredith Corporation|
|WBPG||55 (25)||2003-2006||The CW affiliate, WFNA, owned by Media General|
|Tucson||KGUN ¤¤||9 (9)||2000-2005||ABC affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company|
|Cape Coral - Fort Myers - Naples, Florida||WFTX-TV||36 (35)||1998-2005||Fox affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company|
|Clermont - Orlando - Daytona Beach||WKCF||18 (17)||1998-2006||The CW affiliate owned by Hearst Television|
|Honolulu||KHON-TV ##||2 (8)||1998-2006||Fox affiliate owned by Media General|
|KGMB ¤¤||9 (now 5 (23))||2000-2007||CBS affiliate owned by Raycom Media|
|Terre Haute, Indiana||WTHI-TV||10 (10)||1998-2005||CBS affiliate owned by Media General|
|Topeka, Kansas||KSNT ¤¤||27 (27)||2000-2006||NBC affiliate owned by Media General|
|Wichita / Hutchinson, Kansas||KSNW ¤¤||3 (45)||2000-2006||NBC affiliate owned by Media General|
|Great Bend||KSNC ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
|2 (22)||2000-2006||NBC affiliate owned by Media General|
|Garden City, Kansas||KSNG ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
|11 (11)||2000-2006||NBC affiliate owned by Media General|
|McCook, Nebraska||KSNK ¤¤
(satellite of KSNW)
|8 (12)||2000-2006||NBC affiliate owned by Media General|
|New Orleans||WVUE-DT ##||8 (29)||1998-2008||Fox affiliate owned by Louisiana Media Company (Tom Benson)
(Operated through a SSA by Raycom Media)
|Grand Rapids - Battle Creek -
|WXMI||17 (19)||1998 1||Fox affiliate owned by Tribune Broadcasting|
|Omaha - Council Bluffs||KMTV ¤¤||3 (45)||2000-2007 2||CBS affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company|
|Manchester, New Hampshire||WMUR-TV||9 (9)||2000-2001 3||ABC affiliate owned by Hearst Television|
|Albuquerque - Santa Fe||KRQE ¤¤||13 (13)||2000-2005||CBS affiliate owned by Media General|
|Portland||KOIN ¤¤||6 (40)||2000-2006||CBS affiliate owned by Media General|
|Tacoma - Seattle||KTZZ||22 (25)||1998 1||MyNetworkTV affiliate, KZJO, owned by Tribune Broadcasting|
|Huntington - Charleston||WSAZ-TV ¤¤||3 (23)||2000-2005||NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Green Bay||WLUK-TV ##||11 (11)||1998-2005||Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
- 1 Was bought by Emmis, but it was later swapped for Tribune's WQCD New York City.
- 2 In 2005, Journal operated KMTV under a local marketing agreement, until it was acquired outright in 2007.
- 3 Was swapped in 2001 for Hearst-Argyle's KKLT, KMVP,and KTAR-AM Phoenix; all three of which were subsequently sold to Bonneville International.
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
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- 98.7 KISS-FM (7 April 2005). "Emmis communications/98.7 KISS-FM celebrated Women's History Month by introducing its first annual salute to Phenomenal Women". Press Release. Emmis Communications. The complete list of inaugural Phenomenal Woman Award winners (alphabetized by first name in the company's records) includes:
- Jonelle Procope,
- Judith McRae,
- Kathryn E. Gibson,
- L. Marilyn Crawford,
- Leah Wilcox,
- Lisa Tolliver,
- Mamie McDonald,
- Maria Davis,
- Marilyn Francine Braxton,
- Mary Smith,
- Miriam Raccha,
- Olivia McClurkin,
- Pamela Price,
- Patricia Sweeney,
- Emmis Press Release April 15, 2009
- Emmis Press Release June 9, 2009
- Emmis surges as industry anticipates radio sale
- "NextRadio: Delivering the Hybrid Radio Experience". NAB.org.
- "What We Do". Emmis.com.
- O'Malley, Chris (September 14, 2013). "Emmis' 'NextRadio' app mimics traditional FM radio". Indianapolis Business Journal.
- "Sprint customers to enjoy local FM radio on smartphones via FM radio chip". Sprint Newsroom. January 8, 2013.
- "NextRadio". Google Play Store.
- "What We Do – NextRadio and TagStation". Emmis.com.
- "TagStation®". TagStation.com.
- "TagStation". TagStation.com.
- "Artist Experience®". HD Radio®.
- "iBiquity Digital and TagStation Unveil World's First Automotive Platform Converging Digital Radio Broadcasting and Mobile Application Technologies". PR Newswire. Jan 5, 2015.
- "Emmis partners with WorldBand Media to launch HD channels for South Asian communities". Radio-Info.com. September 1, 2008.
- "News". TV Week. April 18, 2006.