UPDATE: Analysts push Emmis chief about asset sales

As Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. announced dismal fourth-quarter results today, rumors heated up about Chairman Jeff Smulyan reviving a bid to take the company private.

Smulyan said in a conference call this morning that he will reconsider taking the media company private “from time to time,” but will not comment on rumors or speculation.

Meanwhile Emmis’ biggest stations in New York and Los Angeles continue to take a beating, and drag the company down with them.

Revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28 fell 4.6 percent, to $78.6 million. For the quarter, the company lost $12.7 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted profit of $136.7 million, thanks primarily to gains from selling TV stations.

The results had analysts asking if Emmis might sell some of its prized assets-namely radio stations in the nation’s largest markets.

“We always look at a wide variety of acquisitions and divestitures, and lately it seemed like there’s a lot of speculation about that, but that’s been an ongoing hallmark of the company since day one,” Smulyan said. “So we always look at all of our options.”

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