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Emmis Fiscal Q1 Radio Revs Flat, Pro Forma Radio Up 3%


Emmis Communications
Emmis Communications

Emmis Communications reported radio net revenues for the first fiscal quarter, ending May 31, were $26.4 million, yielding flat results over 2018. When considering radio station divestitures, pro forma Q1 radio revenues were up 3%, which matched the 3% growth in Emmis' markets. Station operating expenses grew to $18.1 million from $17.6 million, while operating income (OI) fell to $4.68 million from $35.2 million. The company posted a Q1 net income of $1.6 million as compared to $23.4 million in the year-ago period.

Subsequent to Q1's end, Emmis announced it would sell its controlling interest in six Austin radio stations and two FM translators to Sinclair Telecable. Additionally, Emmis inked a deal to form a new public company, Mediaco, with New York investment firm Standard General. Mediaco will purchase WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM (HOT 97), but Emmis will continue to manage operations of the stations. After closing these transactions, Emmis expects to have $88 million of cash available for reinvestment and other corporate purposes.

"In the past 14 years, we've paid off more than $1.3 billion of debt while making the conscious decision to take our entrepreneurial skills and transition Emmis into new areas of growth. We believe that this fiscal year will reveal a new Emmis, and I couldn't be more excited," said Emmis CEO/Chairman Jeff Smulyan. "Looking ahead, Emmis' radio net revenues for its second fiscal quarter are currently pacing up double digits, largely thanks to a record-breaking HOT 97 Summer Jam concert in New York."

He continued, "Due to hard work and superior execution by our New York team, coupled with a terrific artist lineup, ticket revenue was the strongest in the 26-year history of Summer Jam. We are also seeing a nice strengthening in advertising sales overall, which points to an outstanding quarter ahead."

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