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Emmis loss shrinks as radio stations produce more cash

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Emmis Communications Corp. narrowed its losses in the quarter ended Aug. 31 as its radio stations generated a bigger increase in profit.

The Indianapolis-based media company announced Friday morning that it lost $2.3 million, or 6 cents per common share, in its fiscal second quarter. In the same quarter a year earlier, Emmis lost a whopping $135.6 million, or $3.67 per common share, as it marked down the value of its radio licenses on its books.

The company’s radio stations, which operate in such markets as New York, Los Angeles and Indianapolis, boosted their operating profit by 31 percent in the quarter compared to the same quarter last year. They earned $15.5 million in the period, up from $11.9 million a year ago.

Overall revenue for the quarter rose 4 percent, to $66.8 million, with increases in both radio and Emmis’ publishing division.

Emmis shares closed Thursday at 80 cents apiece, down a penny. The shares have lost more than half their value since Aug. 30, when a bid by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to take the company private fell apart when his financier backed out.

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