"Given the challenges facing over-the-air broadcasting today, it is necessary for us to focus on our existing radio holdings." Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan There has been much discussion of late about "the death of broadcasting" as we know it. This issue bubbled up in numerous places at NAB, and recently several financial analysis groups have essentially stated that television broadcasters do not have a future. Stock prices for corporations heavily invested in TV broadcast properties have languished for several years, even as as revenues have recovered from the last recession. In what may be a sign of the times, Emmis Communications has announced that they are exploring the possibility of selling the groups 16 TV stations in order to boost the corporations' flagging stock price. Could this be the beginning of the end game, where the media conglomerate dinosaurs feed upon the dwindling food supply? Regards Craig http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA600619.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=SUPP Emmis Looking to Sell Stations By Allison Romano -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/10/2005 12:30:00 AM Emmis Communications is exploring the possibility of selling its television stations, the company said today. Indianapolis-based Emmis owns 16 TV stations and 25 radio stations, as well as a radio network, international radio stations and a small publishing division. "Given the challenges facing over-the-air broadcasting today, it is necessary for us to focus on our existing radio holdings," Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said on a conference call with analysts. The company has hired The Blackstone Group as their financial advisor to broker possible deals. The possibility of a sale signifies a dramatic shift in Smulyan's stance on television. Less than 18 months ago, he unveiled a plan to air popular cable channels via digital broadcast. The idea never got off the ground, but it was a bullish attempt to produce a second revenue stream for broadcast stations and maximize digital spectrum. Smulyan said he would consider selling the entire group or parceling off the stations. He also says television group President Randy Bongarten is investigating a management buyout in which Emmis might retain an interest in the stations. Emmis owns five CBS stations, two WBs, three NBCs, five Fox affiliates and one ABC station. Its largest outlets are KOIN Seattle and WVUE New Orleans. Also today, Emmis said its board of directors approved a "Dutch Auction" tender offer to buy back $400 million in stock. Smulyan said his company's stock is undervalued, and the buyback is the "best possible use of capital." Via Shoptalk Emmis Exploring Sale of Stations By Jay Sherman <http://www.tvweek.com>http://www.tvweek.com In a move designed to jump-start its flagging stock price while at the same possibly revive the TV station mergers and acquisitions market, Emmis Communications on Tuesday said it was exploring the sale of its 16 television stations. The Indianapolis-based company said it hired The Blackstone Group as its financial advisor to evaluate strategic alternatives for its television assets. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Smulyan said during a conference call Tuesday that he is open to all options, including a possible buyout by the management of the TV station operation. The news sent Emmis shares soaring Tuesday morning. By midday Emmis' stock was up 20 percent, or more than $3, to trade at more than $18.50, after having trended downward for the past six months. A sale of the TV assets comes as the company launches a stock buyback program to repurchase up to 20.25 million shares. Both strategies are designed to jump-start Emmis' stock price, which has languished for quite a while. Mr. Smulyan said that the challenges facing station groups these days forced the company to rethink its commitment to the business. "We hope we can find our group a home that will allow them to continue and grow," he said during the conference call. "It's a difficult decision, but it's a right decision, and it sets us on a course that gives us the best opportunity to go forward in the future." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.