Emmis Communications

Emmis Communications

Emmis Communications (nasdaq|EMMS) is a media conglomerate based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company owns radio stations and magazines in the United States, Belgium, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.


In 1980 Emmis Broadcasting founder Jeffrey Smulyan purchased his first radio station, WSVL-FM Shelbyville, IN. In July 1981, Smulyan moved that radio station's tower and transmitter closer to Indianapolis, changed from country music to adult contemporary and renamed it WENS. The station's quick success led him to purchase other radio stations throughout the country.

Around 1984 the company bought Magic 106 in Los Angeles, California. Then L.A. Lakers player "Magic" Johnson was an early spokesperson for the station. In early 1986, Emmis changed Magic 106 to Power 106 KPWR. Also in 1986 the company's expansion grew as they purchased WAPP-FM (renamed WQHT) and WHN (now WEPN) in New York as well as WAVA-FM in Washington D.C. from the Doubleday Broadcasting Company.

Emmis took full advantage of the money-minded 1980's as it acquired five NBC radio stations in 1988 but ended up selling two stations to avoid a duopoly.

Emmis purchased the Seattle Mariners in 1989 but sold them in 1992.

In 1994 the company purchased WIBC and WKLR in Indianapolis from the Horizon Broadcast Corporation and WRKS in New York City from the Summit Communications Group. WKLR was changed from an oldies format to a classic hits format with the call letters of WNAP in September 1994.

Emmis became a public company in 1994. The expansion continued as the company purchased numerous television and radio stations in the late 1990s.

Emmis Broadcasting changed its name to Emmis Communications in 1998. Emmis also co-owns a nationally syndicated morning news show called The Daily Buzz.

In 2003 Emmis appointed its first African American VP/General Manager, Barry Mayo. He currently oversees 98.7 Kiss FM, Hot 97 and WQCD (CD 101.9), all in New York City. After 3 years in which the station moved behind Power 105.1 as the second-tier rap station in New York, Mayo announced his departure from this post in January 2006.

In 2005, Emmis changed the format of their first radio station from its long time adult contemporary format to country. The call letters were changed from WENS to WLHK. Emmis was also named one of FORTUNE magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

In May 2005, Embracing the growing strength of the affluent U.S.-born Latino market, Ciudad, LLC, a subsidiary of Emmis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: EMMS), today announced its plan to launch Tu Ciudad Los Angeles, an English-language magazine catering to upwardly-mobile Latinos in Los Angeles, the city with the nation’s largest Hispanic population.

In 2006 Emmis flipped KZLA/Los Angeles to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "Movin' 93.9"." The move gives Emmis a companion station to complement KPWR.


*Emmis-owned WQHT-FM in New York City (known as Hot 97) provoked a controversy in January 2005, a month after the Asian tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, by playing the Tsunami song entitled "USA for Indonesia", a parody sung to the 1985 tune "We Are the World." Listeners, politicians and civil rights groups protested in front of the station. Hot 97's morning DJ, Miss Jones, Production Assistant Tasha Hightower and DJ Envy received a two week suspension while producer Rick Del Gado and co-host Todd Lynn were fired.

*Other controversies have included Hot 97 broadcasts in which women slapped each other on the air for money and prizes, three shootings, and two false bomb threats. In 2004, as a result of continued indecency complaints, Emmis signed a consent decree with the FCC and paid the US government $300,000.

Company portfolio


The company owns Sláger Rádió in Hungary, Be One Radio in Belgium, Rádio Expres in Slovakia, Radio FM Plus, Radio Fresh and Star FM in Bulgaria.

It also owns the following:

= Austin =




= Indianapolis =


= Los Angeles =


= New York =


= St. Louis =


= Terre Haute, Indiana =


WorldBank HD Radio Deal

Emmis has announced on September 9, 2008 that it has teamed up with digital radio network WorldBand Media and will be using the "HD-3" subchannels to produce programming for the South Asian communities in Chicago (on WLUP), Los Angeles (on KPWR), and New York (on WQHT). It will include a combination of both local and international content and should be available by mid-October 2008. [ [http://www.radio-info.com/news/index.php?date=2008-09-09 Radio-Info.com News for September 9,2008] ]


Emmis announced in May 2005 announced its intent to sell some or all of the sixteen television stations they owned at the time. In August 2005 sale of nine television stations were announced, as well as four more in October, an additional station in May 2006, another station in February 2007, and its final station in May 2008. Emmis no longer owns any television stations.

Former Emmis Owned and Operated Stations

*Now owned by Gray Television:
**Charleston/Huntington - WSAZ
*Now owned by Hearst-Argyle Television:
**Manchester - WMUR (swapped in 2001 for Hearst-Argyle's KKLT, KMVP and KTAR-AM Phoenix, all three of which were subsequently sold to Bonneville International)
**Orlando - WKCF
*Now owned by HITV Operating Company, Incorporated:
**Honolulu - KGMB
*Now owned by Journal Broadcast Group:
**Fort Myers/Cape Coral - WFTX
**Omaha - KMTV
**Tucson - KGUN
*Now owned by LIN Television:
**Albuquerque - KRQE
**Green Bay - WLUK
**Mobile - WALA and WBPG
**Terre Haute - WTHI-TV
*Now owned by Louisiana Media Company:
**New Orleans - WVUE
*Now owned by New Vision Television:
**Honolulu - KHON
**Portland - KOIN
**Topeka - KSNT
**Wichita - KSNW
*Now owned by Tribune Broadcasting (both stations sold pre-2005):
**Grand Rapids - WXMI (swapped in 1997 for Tribune's WQCD-FM New York City)
**Seattle - KTZZ (also swapped for WQCD, was reacquired for part of 1999 after Tribune purchased KCPQ but prior to the FCC allowing television duopolies)


*Texas Monthly
*Los Angeles
*Indianapolis Monthly
*Orange Coast Magazine
*Country Sampler
*Tu Cuidad Los Angeles (in partnership) [http://www.ciudadmag.com/ciudad Tu Ciudad LA Website]

Article Source

April 18, 2006: http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=9791

Board of directors

*Jeffrey Smulyan - Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
*Susan Bayh - Visiting Professor, Butler University
*Gary Kaseff - Executive Vice President and General Counsel
*Richard Leventhal - President & Majority Owner of LMCS, LLC.
*Peter Lund - Media Consultant and former President & CEO of CBS Television.
*Greg Nathanson - former Television Division President
*Lawrence Sorrel - Tailwind Capital Partners


External links

* [http://www.emmis.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2004/FCC-04-199A1.html 2004 consent decree with FCC]

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