Emmis’ Smulyan honored as ‘giant of broadcasting”

The Library of American Broadcasting has named Emmis Communications Corp. founder and CEO Jeff Smulyan a “giant of broadcasting,” a title held by legends such as Dick Cavett and Morley Safer.

Smulyan-Jeff-mugNEWER Smulyan

Smulyan earned the honor earlier this month at an event at Gotham Hall in New York City.

Indianapolis-based Emmis owns more than 20 radio stations in the United States and has been leading the effort to persuade wireless phone carriers to enable FM chips in cell phones.

The so-called NextRadio feature allows certain Sprint customers to pick up radio signals over the air rather than through Internet streaming.

Smulyan referred to the value such a feature could have had to those on the East Coast after tropical storm Sandy.

Smulyan wants to see other wireless carriers offer FM-enabled phones, as well. Radio Ink, an industry publication, quoted Smulyan as saying the effort has not been easy.

“If you have a choice between negotiating with AT&T and Verizon or wrestling with enraged crocodiles, pick the crocodiles,” Smulyan said.

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