Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said, during his Q3 earnings call, that when he has this call a year from now we’ll all be looking at a different company. Why? Because Emmis has almost no debt, and plans are in place to deal with its remaining debt. The company has paid off $1.2 Billion in debt over the past decade and Smulyan says that leaves Emmis in a good position to navigate through uncertain times with a clean balance sheet.
Smulyan said last year a lot of problems were solved and a lot of issues dealt with. He says Emmis will be transformed into new areas that will be fun. “We’re exploring some now. Nothing is ready to be announced. We’re working on some things and we’re excited about the direction this company will take. We’ve looked at some fascinating things. I think this is going to be a very good year for us.”
In the nearly 40 years Emmis has been in existence its been more than a radio company. It’s been an international radio company, a TV company, a technology company, and a Major League Baseball company. Smulyan says Emmis has a remarkable group of people. “Really smart, really talented, really good people and I’m anxious to give them a challenge in something that might grow nicely. What can we do given the skill sets we have? And we have some very unique skill sets. When we can find a company or an industry that match our skill sets we’ll transition.”
Smulyan concluded by saying that what has served the company well is that they are smart enough to know what they don’t know.