With Emmis Communications reporting a revenue decline for its fiscal Q3, New York was a weak point, so an investor asked during the company’s quarterly conference call just what was going on. CEO Jeff Smulyan pointed to PPM ratings as a factor, particularly for WRKS-FM “Kiss.”
Smulyan said the switch from diary measurement to PPM by Arbitron essentially halved the reported audiences for Kiss and its main competitor, Inner City’s WBLS-FM. And while Inner City is currently in Chapter 11 reorganization, Smulyan said WBLS remains a tough competitor in the market.
Emmis had also noted softness in certain ad categories for young skewing stations in fiscal Q3 (September-November), impacting KPWR-FM “Power 106” Los Angeles as well as the New York stations. That prompted CFO Pat Walsh to chime in with some additional commentary on the recent revenue weakness.
Having come through the “Great Recession,” Smulyan noted with some relief that radio is now at the end of the most challenging time in the last 70 years.