Emmis says it’s seen the bottom


Initiatives with programming, sales and interactive business are starting to take hold and Emmis in particular and for the radio industry in general, he said, and expectations are for a modest turnaround to begin rather than further digging into even more negative territory.

Emmis believes the overall economy, rather than structural weakness in the radio business, is responsible for the current tough times.

It reiterated that proceeds from the sale of WVUE-TV New Orleans will be used to pay down debt. The sale is for $41M, with $35.5M expected to clear after the tax collectors takes their cut.

“Each of our businesses showed remarkable progress,” he said. “Pro forma net revenues were up 3% in domestic radio, 4% in publishing, 9% at our discontinued operation WVUE-TV in New Orleans, and an astounding 31% in international radio.” (The company noted that the international results were aided in no small measure by the weakness of the dollar in international currency markets.)

The company reported a diluted net loss per common share from continuing operations of $0.53, compared to a loss of $0.23 for the same quarter of the prior year. A large portion of this was an impairment loss related to its broadcast licenses of $21.2 million, or $0.35 per share.

Looking ahead, the company is putting emphasis on developing Emmis Interactive in conjunction with its radio properties, and will lump its results in with radio for the foreseeable future. It has also decided that quarterly revenue guidance has become counterproductive and announced that it will no longer provide such information.