What: Emmis Communications is planning to go private and intends to sell assets including its regional magazines.
Why it matters: Emmis Communications publishes Texas Monthly, Indianapolis Monthly, Los Angeles and Orange Coast magazines, Atlanta magazine and Cincinnati magazine.In 2005, the company launched “Tu Ciudad Los Angeles,” an English-language Hispanic bi-monthly magazine, which folded in 2008.
Emmis Communications, publisher of Indianapolis Monthly, Texas Monthly and Los Angeles magazines, has decided to go private and sell off all print assets except for Indianapolis Monthly through E Acquisition Corporation, owned by Emmis CEO and controlling shareholder Jeffrey H. Smulyan.
Smulyan has offered to buy the Emmis outstanding shares at US$4.10. The decision comes down to outstanding debt and diminished faith from shareholders, according to Smulyan.
However, the company’s privatization and sale are still just a possibility, as any movement would requiere approval of both Emmis Corp. and E Acquisition Corporationits board of directors and shareholders.The joint entity would be co-owned by unnamed directors, officers and shareholders of Emmis.
But were the privatization become real, it would leave the new company in a hole. So, just like any other diversified media companies, Emmis has decided that the city/regional magazines must be sold.
“Unfortunately, in order to address the company’s debt issues, we need to look at selling assets. I would never consider such action unless absolutely necessary. Nothing pains me more than making decisions like this. After considerable discussion, we plan to explore the sale of Terre Haute radio, WLIB-AM in New York, and our Publishing Division (excluding Indianapolis Monthly magazine),” Smulyan said.
The company also intends to sell off the New York City radio station WLIB-AM and its four radio stations in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Emmis publishes Texas Monthly, Indianapolis Monthly, Los Angeles and Orange Coastmagazines, Atlanta magazine and Cincinnati magazine.Quite a huge portfolio, considering the size of this segment of the magazine industry.
Emmis Communications also owns a marketing firm, Incite, launched in 2011; radio broadcasting apps NextRadio and Tagstation; and has had a controlling interest in Digonex, a dynamic pricing software, since 2014.
Smulyan said in an announcement that if sales are negotiated, Emmis will provide bonuses to employees who stay, and offer “generous severance packages” in the case of layoffs.
Hispanic Market Foray
Embracing the growing strength of the affluent U.S.-born Latino market, Ciudad, LLC, a subsidiary of Emmis Communications Corporation in 2005 launched Tu Ciudad Los Angeles, an English-language magazine catering to upwardly-mobile Latinos in Los Angeles, the city with the nation’s largest Hispanic population. The magazine folded in 2008 as its financial viability was unclear. Tu Ciudad (pronounced TOO SEE-YOU-DAHD), which literally means “your city,” was a bi-monthly magazine that targets affluent Latinos and a guide to Los Angeles culture, entertainment and lifestyle for urbane Latinos and other like-minded Angelenos.[ctahcb]