Emmis Communications takes quarterly loss as revenue declines

Emmis Communications Corp. on Thursday reported a quarterly loss amid declining revenue.

Indianapolis-based Emmis said it lost $267,000, or 2 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter ended May 31, down from $2.7 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Overall revenue was $40.2 million, down from $56 million in the year-ago period.

Radio revenue fell from $42.7 million to $38.7 million and publishing revenue dropped from $13.1 million to $1.1 million.

Revenue declines were expected because Emmis sold off four radio stations and most of its publishing assets over the past year.

The company has three fewer FM stations (16) and one less AM radio station (3) than it did a year ago after selling its Terre Haute radio stations in January for $5.2 million.

It also sold Texas Monthly magazine for $25 million in November and a package of four city magazines (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Orange Coast) for $6.5 million in February, leaving it with Indianapolis Monthly as its only magazine.

The media company announced in May that it was selling KPWR-FM “Power 106” in Los Angeles to an affiliate of Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. The deal is awaiting regulatory approvals.

"Emmis made difficult but necessary decisions in our first fiscal quarter–decisions that give us additional flexibility to address market challenges and opportunities," CEO Jeff Smulyan said in written comments.

Emmis shares showed little movement Thursday after the earnings report and were trading at $2.82 each by late morning, exactly where they started the day.

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