Emmis’ radio net revenues for the first fiscal quarter were up 22%, from $36.9 million to $45.0 million. This includes reported revenue from New York’s Urban AC WBLS (107.5 FM) and Gospel WLIB-AM (1190 AM), which Emmis began operating pursuant to a Local Marketing Agreement on March 1, 2014. On a pro forma basis, assuming results for WBLS and WLIB were included in the same quarter of the prior year, radio revenues would have been flat. Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, Emmis’ stations were up 1.6% compared to local radio market revenues down 5.5% during the fiscal quarter.
Publishing net revenues were up 7% in the first fiscal quarter, driven by higher advertising rates and an increase in custom publishing business.
For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was $6.6 million, compared to $7.0 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Emmis’ station operating income for the first fiscal quarter was $13.4 million, compared to $13.1 million for the same quarter of the prior year.
“While our markets continue to be tested, our stations and employees have risen to the challenge and continue to outperform our markets,” Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis said. “We continue to believe NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, is a game-changer for the radio industry a nd will reignite growth. We have spent the last year building out the NextRadio ecosystem, and now we are entering a critical phase to build consumer awareness. I’m proud of our team for its continuing focus on innovation and operational excellence.”