Emmis Communications reports results from ‘difficult quarter’

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Emmis Communications Corp. on Thursday announced results from what CEO Jeff Smulyan called a “difficult quarter,” with revenue and profit on the decline.

The Indianapolis-based media company said revenue in the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 31 fell 5.5 percent, to $58.8 million, down from $62.5 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Quarterly profit fell from $4.4 million, or 40 cents per share, to $335,000, or 3 cents per share.

Radio revenue dropped 3.3 percent, to $46 million, and publishing revenue sank 13.5 percent, to $12.6 million.

“Across the board, this was a difficult quarter," Smulyan said in a written statement. "Third quarter radio revenues are currently pacing flat to the prior year.  We are hopeful that we will see political advertising tailwinds strengthen as we move through October.  We are increasing marketing [spending] at some of our largest brands to boost ratings and to give us a competitive advantage."

Smulyan is in the midst of an effort to take the company private. On Sept. 30, he extended his $4.10-per-share offer to buy Emmis until Friday .
The offer values Emmis at about $50 million. Smulyan, who owns 13 percent of the shares, has rounded up other directors and top brass to join in the buyout, which is being financed by Falcon Investment Advisors, a Boston-based private equity firm.

Emmis announced Aug. 18, that it was exploring a sale of publishing division, excluding Indianapolis Monthly magazine.  It publishes Texas Monthly, Los Angeles Magazine, Orange Coast and eponymous titles for Cincinnati and Atlanta.

"There is marked and deserved interest in our magazines, and while it is early in the process, I'm optimistic about the reaction to these marquee brands," Smulyan said.

Emmis also announced it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Terre Haute radio stations and WLIB-AM in New York.

The company did see an increase in revenue in its emerging technologies business, which includes NextRadio and TagStation, from $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

Emmis shares slipped 3 cents Thursday morning, to $4.02 each.

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