Profit up for Emmis despite decline in radio revenue

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Emmis Communications Corp. saw profit rise almost 60 percent in its latest fiscal quarter despite falling revenue from its radio stations, the Indianapolis-based media company announced Thursday morning.

Profit in the fiscal first period ended May 31 rose to $1.5 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with $956,000, or 2 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2014.

Overall revenue dipped from $59.7 million a year ago to $58.5 million this year as quarterly radio revenue dropped 5.3 percent, from $45 million to $42.6 million

"While this was a challenging quarter, we are encouraged by what we see looking forward," Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a written statement.  "Our Q2 radio revenues are pacing up low single digits, we had a record-setting Summer Jam concert in New York (June 7), and ratings are bouncing back in Los Angeles after some expected turbulence.”

Smulyan also said he was encouraged by progress in the company’s emerging technologies segment. Emmis is hoping for big things from NextRadio, an application that that brings terrestrial FM radio to the smartphone.  

"The announcement last week that NextRadio is now available for download in the Amazon App Store is the first in what we hope will be a series of positive announcements,” Smulyan said. “I couldn't be more thrilled with the way our industry has come together to support NextRadio.”

Emmis owns 19 FM and 4 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Austin, Texas.

Emmis shares were up 13 cents, or 12.8 percent, to $1.14 each Thursday morning.

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