It was a frustrating year for Smulyan, 59, who watched the company's stock price tumble, driven down by an advertising slump.
In an interview last spring, he lamented, "Nothing we do seems to make anybody happy these days."
To focus on radio, the company unloaded 14 of its 16 TV stations for nearly $1 billion, shrinking its debt. But analysts widely panned Smulyan's decision to apply some of Emmis' new financial firepower toward his ultimately failed bid to buy the Washington Nationals. Emmis shares at year-end were trading at around $8.10, down 59 percent for 2006. But the stock performance wasn't quite as bleak as it sounds.
Late in the year, Emmis shares shed about $4 when the company gave stockholders a special, $4-a-share cash dividend. Smulyan said the dividend was a way to reward shareholders for the company's reaping higher-than-expected prices for its TV stations.
In recognition of the tough times the company is facing, Smulyan in December said his salary in the next fiscal year will be $1.