Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EMMS) has announced layoffs from its NextRadio and TagStation subsidiaries. In a statement provided to Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smulyan says 35 employees are affected.
The layoffs are the result of a reduction in operations for both businesses first announced in October as part of the company’s fiscal second quarter earnings report. Smulyan called the move a "difficult decision."
On October 11, we announced that Emmis was unwilling and unable to continue to fund the NextRadio and TagStation businesses as they were currently structured, and that we planned to dramatically reduce the operations of these businesses and explore other means of eliminating the operating losses from these businesses in the coming months. After exploring several alternatives, we have made the difficult decision to dramatically reduce the scope and scale of our operations, which includes the termination of 35 employees of these businesses. NextRadio and TagStation employees that were separated were given generous severance packages. We will provide certain product support and maintenance for the foreseeable future.
NextRadio and TagStation are efforts that I and many others championed and spent enormous energy supporting. We believed in the success of these businesses. To come to this day is a difficult one, not just for the employees directly impacted, but for Emmis and the radio industry.
NextRadio is a smartphone app that lets users listen to traditional over-the-air FM radio using the device’s FM chip. TagStation, billed as "the power behind NextRadio," is a cloud-based data system allowing radio stations to accurately play out their content, including commercial advertisements.
The company said the reduction in operations was due to the inability to form a consortium to own and operate both businesses.