Emmis Details Plans for New Public Company
Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EMMS) has announced plans to form a new public company. Emmis has signed an agreement with New York-based investment firm Standard General to establish Mediaco Holding.
As part of the new venture, Mediaco Holding will acquire two New York radio stations, WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM, from Emmis in a more than $96 million deal. Emmis will remain active in the management of both stations and provide certain corporate services to Mediaco as part of a management agreement between the two parties.
The sale of the stations is expected to close later this year and remains subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and other customary closing conditions.
Jeff Smulyan will serve as chief executive officer of Mediaco while continuing to serve as chairman and CEO of Emmis. Standard General will appoint a majority of the Mediaco board of directors and Standard General CEO Soohyung Kim will serve as chairman of Mediaco.
"This is a landmark day in the forty year history of Emmis," Smulyan said in a news release. "We look forward to continuing to manage two of the world’s most iconic radio brands in HOT 97 and WBLS and employ our award-winning New York team as we partner with Soo Kim and Standard General to form a new public company to invest in media opportunities. The transaction provides Emmis significant capital to aggressively pursue new business opportunities that align with our entrepreneurial spirit and management skills. We are also excited to work with Soo and Standard General to grow Mediaco Holding. We have already been evaluating great investment opportunities and I’m incredibly excited about the future."
Emmis will remain a separate public company and no personnel changes are planned as a result of the effort.