Emmis suffers quarterly loss on lower revenue

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Emmis Communications Corp. on Thursday reported a money-losing quarter as radio revenue continued to slump.

The Indianapolis-based media company suffered a loss of $279,000, or 2 cents per share, in its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 30. That’s down from a profit of $17.7 million, or $1.46 cents per share, in last year’s third quarter.

Overall revenue fell from $56.3 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $35.3 million in the most recent quarter. Radio revenue fell from $42.4 million to $33.9 million and publishing revenue dropped from $13.6 million to $1.1 million.

Last year’s revenue figure included sales from Los Angeles radio station KPWR-FM and four stations in Terre Haute that have since been sold. Emmis has also sold off five magazines over the past year, leaving Indianapolis monthly as its only location.

"Overall it was a disappointing quarter, but I am encouraged going forward by the ratings trends at our radio stations,” Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in written comments. “This fiscal year, our radio stations have been growing their ratings vis-a-vis our competitors, which should manifest itself in better revenue performance in Q4 and into the next fiscal year."

Emmis stock fell 5.5 percent on Thursday morning, to $3.26 per share.

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