Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its first fiscal quarter, which ended May 31, 2019.
Emmis’ radio net revenues for the first fiscal quarter were $26.4 million, which is flat compared to a year ago. Pro forma for radio station divestitures, Emmis’ Q1 radio revenues were up three percent, which matched the three percent growth in Emmis’ markets.
Subsequent to the first quarter’s end, Emmis announced an agreement to sell its controlling interest in a partnership that owns and operates six Austin radio stations and two FM translators to Sinclair Telecable, Inc. Additionally, Emmis announced an agreement to form a new public company, Mediaco, with New York investment firm Standard General. Mediaco will purchase WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM (HOT 97) from the company, but Emmis will continue to manage operations of the stations.
After closing these transactions, Emmis expects to have approximately $88 million of cash available for reinvestment and other corporate purposes, after settling all tax obligations, closing costs, and assuming $13 million remains outstanding under the mortgage on its corporate headquarters.
“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,” stated Jeff Smulyan, Emmis CEO/Chairman.
“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. 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,” Smulyan added.