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Emmis Communications is an American media conglomerate based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emmis, based on the Hebrew word for Truth, Emet was founded by Jeff Smulyan in 1980. Emmis has owned many radio stations, including KPWR and WQHT, which have notoriety for their Hip Hop Rhythmic format as well as WFAN, which was the world's first 24-hour sports talk radio station. In addition to radio, Emmis has invested in TV, publishing, and mobile operations around the United States.
|Revenue||114,131,000 United States dollar (2019)|
Number of employees
In 1980, Emmis Broadcasting founder Jeffrey Smulyan purchased his first radio station, WSVL-FM Shelbyville, Indiana. In July 1981, Smulyan changed the format from country music to adult contemporary and renamed the station WENS and later to WLHK.
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. Emmis also bought KSHE in St. Louis in the same year.
In 1987, Emmis made a series of purchases including WQHT, WYNY, and WNBC in New York, WKZX-FM in Chicago, WJIB in Boston, WKUU and KXXX in San Francisco, and KKHT-FM in Houston. They also acquired WAVA-FM in Washington, D.C. from the Doubleday Broadcasting Company. Both KPWR and WQHT would pioneer the urban contemporary rhythmic format. Emmis transformed WHN into the world's first all-sports radio station, WFAN.
Emmis kicked off the 1990s by selling KKHT-FM in Houston to Nationwide Communications in May 1990.
In 1991, Emmis sold two more stations: WLOL to Minnesota Public Radio and KXXX, San Francisco, to Alliance Broadcasting. Also in 1991, KMGG became KPWR, "Power 106" and became the first rhythmic contemporary-focused top 40 formatted outlet.
In 1992, Emmis sold WFAN, New York, to Infinity for $70M, which was one of the highest prices ever paid for an AM radio station. Emmis also sold WAVA-FM, Washington D.C., to Salem Broadcasting and WJIB, Boston, to Greater Media. In the same year, Jeff Smulyan sold the Seattle Mariners to Nintendo.
Emmis grew its publishing portfolio by adding Atlanta Magazine in 1993. In the same year, Emmis launched its second hip hop station in America, Hot 97. Emmis' Q101 in Chicago moved into an Alternative Rock Format.
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. Emmis became a public company, EMMS on NASDAQ, with an IPO on March 4, 1994.
The following year, 1995, WQHT and KPWR were among the top rated radio station in each of their markets. This resulted in a record-breaking accomplishment where Emmis was the first company to own top rated radio stations in the top 2 markets. Later in 1996, WHHH (formerly WTLC-AM/FM) became top rated for Urban Adult Contemporary.
Emmis entered the world of international radio in 1997 when the company was awarded a license to operate in Hungary, Sláger Radio, which debuted #1 nationwide and remained the country's most popular national radio station until the Hungarian government revoked the license in 2009. Emmis added Cincinnati Magazine to its publishing group, as well as KIHT-FM and KPNT-FM in St. Louis to its rock collection.
In 1998, Emmis Broadcasting changed its name to Emmis Communications and moved into its current headquarters on Monument Circle in Indianapolis. Emmis acquired a lot of media in the same year including Texas Monthly, WRXP in New York, WTHI and WWVR in Terre Haute, and six television stations in Honolulu, New Orleans, Green Bay, and Mobile, Alabama, from SF Broadcasting and in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Ft. Myers, Florida, from Wabash Valley Broadcasting RadioNow was launched in Indianapolis as a Top 40 format.
In 2005, Emmis changed the format of its 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, New York, celebrated Women's History Month by introducing their first annual salute to Phenomenal Women (also referred to as the Phenomenal Woman Awards).
n 2006, Emmis flipped KZLA Los Angeles to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "KMVN, Movin' 93.9". The move gave 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 had 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 its 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.
On October 12, 2016, Emmis announced that it would sell its radio stations in the Terre Haute cluster to Midwest Communications and DLC Media. Midwest Communications would acquire WTHI-FM and the intellectual property of WWVR while DLC Media would acquire WFNF, WFNB and the broadcast license for WWVR. Midwest Communications would also sell WDKE to DLC Media to stay under FCC ownership limits. The sale was consummated on January 27, 2017.
On March 1, 2017, Emmis announced it had sold four of its magazines (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and Orange Coast) to Hour Media Group, LLC for $6.5 million. It also sold Texas Monthly to Genesis Park, LP for $25 million.
On May 9, 2017, Emmis announced that it ould sell KPWR to The Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. The announcement came after Emmis made a deal in April with its lenders to seek $80 million worth of divestments by January 2018 to amend its credit agreement. The Meruelo Group began operating the station under an LMA on July 1, 2017, until the sale was consummated on August 1, 2017.
In June 2019, Emmis announced that it would sell its controlling stake in its Austin stations to its minority partner Sinclair Telecable Inc. (d/b/a Sinclair Communications, unrelated to Sinclair Broadcast Group).
On July 1, 2019, Emmis announced that it would sell its New York City stations WQHT and WBLS to Mediaco Holding—an affiliate of Standard General—for $91.5 million, a $5 million promissory note, and a 23.72% stake in the new company. Mediaco Holding will be a public company, and Emmis will continue to manage the stations. The sale was completed November 27, 2019.
Emmis Interactive, Inc.Edit
Former Emmis-owned magazinesEdit
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 was preloaded on select devices and was 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.
During the quarter ended November 30, 2018, Emmis decided to dramatically reduce the scale of operations in TagStation, LLC and NextRadio, LLC. In connection with this decision, the company recognized $1.2 million of severance related to the termination of 35 employees. Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said on the company's second quarter earnings call that Emmis was “unwilling and unable” to continue funding the NextRadio and TagStation businesses.
Currently owned stations – EuropeEdit
- 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 its 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 StatesEdit
|Indianapolis, Indiana||WFNI||107.5 MHz
|WIBC||93.1 MHz||93 WIBC||News/Talk|
|WLHK||97.1 MHz||Hank FM||Country|
|WYXB||105.7 MHz||B105.7||Adult Contemporary|
|New York, New York||WBLS||107.5 MHz||107.5 WBLS||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|WEPN-FM 1||98.7 MHz||98.7 ESPN||Sports|
|WLIB||1190 kHz||1190 WLIB||Urban Contemporary Gospel|
|WQHT||97.1 MHz||Hot 97||Urban Contemporary|
Former Emmis-owned radio stationsEdit
- Now owned by The Meruelo Group
- Sold to Merlin Media
- Now owned by Entercom
- 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 1970s until 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.
- St. Louis – KNOU – 96.3
- St. Louis – KFTK-FM – 97.1
- Now owned by Midwest Communications
- Terre Haute, Indiana WTHI-FM – 99.9
- Now owned by DLC Media
- Now owned by Salem Media Group
- Now owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
- Sold to former minority shareholder Sinclair Telecable (unrelated to television broadcaster Sinclair Broadcast Group)
WorldBand Media HD Radio dealEdit
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 stationsEdit
Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.
- (##) – 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 Nexstar Media Group|
|Tucson, Arizona||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, Florida
|WKCF||18 (17)||1998–2006||The CW affiliate owned by Hearst Television|
|Honolulu||KHON-TV ##||2 (8)||1998–2006||Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|KGMB ¤¤||9 (now 5 (23))||2000–2007||CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Terre Haute, Indiana||WTHI-TV||10 (10)||1998–2005||CBS affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting|
|Topeka, Kansas||KSNT ¤¤||27 (27)||2000–2006||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Wichita - Hutchinson, Kansas||KSNW ¤¤||3 (45)||2000–2006||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Great Bend, Kansas||KSNC ¤¤
(Satellite of KSNW)
|2 (22)||2000–2006||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Garden City, Kansas||KSNG ¤¤
(Satellite of KSNW)
|11 (11)||2000–2006||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|McCook, Nebraska||KSNK ¤¤
(Satellite of KSNW)
|8 (12)||2000–2006||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||WVUE-DT ##||8 (29)||1998–2008||Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Grand Rapids - Battle Creek -
|WXMI||17 (19)||1998 1||Fox affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company|
|Omaha, Nebraska - Council Bluffs, Iowa||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, New Mexico||KRQE ¤¤||13 (13)||2000–2005||CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Portland, Oregon||KOIN ¤¤||6 (40)||2000–2006||CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Tacoma - Seattle, Washington||KTZZ||22 (25)||1998 1||MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated (O&O), KZJO|
|Huntington - Charleston, West Virginia||WSAZ-TV ¤¤||3 (23)||2000–2005||NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Green Bay, Wisconsin||WLUK-TV ##||11 (11)||1998–2005||Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
- 1 Was bought by Emmis, but it was later swapped to Tribune Broadcasting 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 directorsEdit
- 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
- "Hebrew Word of the Week - Emet". www.hebrew4christians.com. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- Carman, John (July 9, 1982). "WLOL whistling happy tune over Arbitron ratings" (PDF). Minneapolis Star Journal. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- "How and Why of KPWR's Popularity". Los Angeles Times. 1988-10-18. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Fabrikant, Geraldine (1988-02-20). "Emmis to Buy 5 NBC Radio Stations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- "Baseball Ownership Has Become a Lot More Than Dollars and Sense". Los Angeles Times. 1989-10-20. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- "Honchos Claim MPR Plays Monopoly". Variety. 1991-02-11. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Power 106 Turns 25 Today In Los Angeles". All Access. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Nelson, Rodrigues, Morgan Exit, Kelly Consults (January 17, 1986). "Emmis Turns on "Power 106"" (PDF). R&R The Industry's Weekly Newspaper. Retrieved December 20, 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Lev, Michael (1991-12-12). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Accord Is Reached to Sell WFAN-AM for $70 Million". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "The Final Hour of CHR on WAVA". Format Change Archive. 1992-02-12. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "The Boston Radio Dial: WBQT(FM)". www.bostonradio.org. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
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- "Brief History". THE ORIGINAL WQHT. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "WNAP". WNAP ~ Trax & Grooves. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Emmis Communications went public on 1994-03-04 - NASDAQ:EMMS". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Ratings Report and Directory" (PDF). R&R. 2: 12–24. Spring 1995.
- "Ratings Report & Directory" (PDF). R&R. 2: 91. Volume 2/1996. Check date values in:
- RBR.com (2009-11-18). "Emmis off the air in Hungary | Radio & Television Business Report". Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Emmis Communications Corporation company profile - MondoTimes.com". www.mondotimes.com. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- King, Mason. "Indianapolis Monthly to vacate longtime offices, make way for STAR Bank on Circle". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Emmis to Buy Texas Monthly Publisher". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1998-01-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Gunset, Compiled by George. "EMMIS TO PURCHASE 6 TV STATIONS". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "Emmis Communications acquires Country Sampler - 1999-04-01". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Roundup, An Interactive Journal News (1999-10-26). "Liberty Media Agrees to Buy Stakes In Astrolink, Emmis Communications". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- 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.
- Emmis Press Release April 15, 2009 Archived June 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Emmis Press Release June 9, 2009 Archived June 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Emmis surges as industry anticipates radio sale
- "Emmis and Sprint Roll Out NextRadio -- FM-enabled Smartphone App for Consumers".
- "Rock Out with New NextRadio App on Red Hot HTC One Exclusively from Sprint Beginning Aug. 16 | Sprint Newsroom".
- "Emmis Announces Agreement to Sell Terre Haute Radio Stations in Three, Related Transactions - Emmis Communications". Emmis Communications. 12 October 2016.
- "Emmis, Midwest & DLC Media Make Deals In Terre Haute". RadioInsight. 18 October 2016.
- "DLC Media Sets Plans For New Terre Haute Stations".
- Emmis Communications Sells Off Four City Magazines, Paste Magazine, 1 March 2017, Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Emmis Sells Power 106 Los Angeles To Mereulo Group" from Radio Insight (May 9, 2017)
- Looking At The KPWR Deal RadioInsight - May 9, 2017
- "Meruelo Takes Over KPWR; Sets New Management" from Radio Insight (July 6, 2017)
- Holleman, Joe. "Emmis Communications leaving St. Louis market with sale of KSHE, 3 other radio stations". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- "Emmis Exits Austin Market With Sale To Sinclair Telecable". Insideradio.com. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
- "Emmis Forms New Mediaco Holding Company With Standard General, To Transfer WBLS And WQHT (Hot 97)/New York To New Entity". All Access. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
- Jacobson, Adam (2019-11-27). "Emmis' Mediaco Move Complete, As Are Cumulus Spins". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
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- "Emmis sells Emmis Interactive to Marketron".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "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. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- "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-Form-10-Q-November-30-2018 https://www.emmis.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Emmis-Form-10-Q-November-30-2018-FINAL.pdf
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- "Emmis Sells L.A.’s Power 106 to Meruelo Group for $82.75 Million" (Variety, May 9, 2017)
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