Publicly traded Emmis Communications, which CEO Jeff Smulyan is trying to take private, has put WLIB, its New York AM radio station, and five of its regional magazines, including Texas Monthly, on the block. The company owns 19 FM and four AM radio stations. Smulyan is also looking to sell his regional magazines in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif.
“We believe in the future for radio, but it’s hard to find people on Wall Street who do,” Smulyan told Media Ink on Thursday. He offered $4. 10 a share, or about $46 million, roughly 3 percent over its closing price on Aug.
17, the day before he disclosed the offer. Emmis shares closed Thursday at $4. 14, up a penny — perhaps suggesting that investors want more money.
Smulyan said the magazine division “has always been profitable” but is considered a asset. “My sense is they’d probably go to separate buyers in each city,” Smulyan said of regional titles. Emmis plans to keep its two other New York FM stations — WBLS and WQHT, also known at Hot 97 — and most of its other radio assets.