Emmis posts loss, fears further drop

B'caster cites slowed advertising

HOLLYWOOD — TV and radio broadcaster Emmis Communications posted a $7.2 million loss in its fiscal second quarter Wednesday, citing slowed advertising and warning that recent dramatic news events could further strain future cash flow.

The Indianapolis-based company reported a profit of $16.6 million in the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Net revenue climbed 31% to $142.4 million in the latest fiscal quarter, ended Aug. 31, but most of the gain came from growth through acquisitions. Emmis operates 15 TV stations and 23 radio properties.

Most Emmis TV and radio stations aired commercial-free programming for several days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. But execs said it was too early to quantify lost revenue.

Chief financial officer Walter Berger said the company has decided to put on hold previous plans to separate TV and radio operations amid continuing advertising sluggishness as the nation flirts with recession.

“(But) we remain committed to the separation as a long-term strategy,” Berger said.

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