“Across the board, this was a difficult quarter.”
Those were the words of Emmis Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan, ahead of the company’s Oct. 6 investor conference call to discuss a not-so-stellar fiscal Q2 2017.
For the three-month period ending August 31, operating income slid a whopping 51%, to $4.9 million from $9.9 million, on a year-to-year basis. Emmis says this was partially due to a $3 million non-cash impairment charge related to Digonex intangibles.
Radio net revenues for fiscal Q2 slumped 3.3%, to $46.0 million from $47.6 million.
Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter and syndication revenues, Emmis radio revenues were down 3.8% in markets up 1%.
Meanwhile, publishing net revenues dipped 13.5% in fiscal Q2, to $12.6 million from $14.6 million.
As part of the privatization bid from Mr. Smulyan announced on August 18, Emmis said it was seeking to divest all of its publications except for Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Those publications include Los Angeles and Texas Monthly magazines, in addition to Atlanta Magazine.
Emmis is also seeking a buyer for its Terre Haute, Ind. radio stations and WLIB-AM in New York.
Smulyan said ahead of the call with investors that fiscal Q3 radio revenue is currently pacing flat, compared to the same period a year ago.
“We are hopeful that we will see political advertising tailwinds strengthen as we move through October,” Smulyan said. “We are increasing marketing spend at some of our largest brands to boost ratings and to give us a competitive advantage.”
Meanwhile, Emmis’ NextRadio smartphone app that activates FM chips in Android-powered devices “continues to make progress on multiple fronts,” Smulyan said, noting that NextRadio-compatible Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Note 7 smartphones are now available across all carriers.