Emmis: A Pivot To Digital, Or Cash Dash?



It’s been an interesting 18 months for Emmis Communications. In late August 2016, company founder and Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan presented a privatization plan that would have seen the purchase of all outstanding Emmis shares at $4.10, pending shareholder approval following the acceptance of the plan by a special committee comprised of Peter Lund and Susan Bayh.

That plan officially lapsed in October 2016, sending Emmis on a journey that has seen a significant number of asset sales — including the somewhat unexpected divestment of its four St. Louis radio stations on Jan. 30.

Is Emmis in the final stages of repositioning itself as a digital company, focusing on TagStation and NextRadio instead of radio stations? One top media broker has his thoughts. A source close to the matter says he’s wrong about one of this broker’s assertions.

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