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Emmis aiming for ‘Net radio

Citadel, Emmis, b'casters to work out a model for new company

Emmis Communications is spearheading a push to create a Broadcast.com-type company that would be owned by a group of radio broadcasters, according to news reports Friday.

Broadcast.com, a leader in streaming audio and video over the Internet, has just been acquired by Yahoo!, the online giant.

Emmis chairman and CEO Jeffrey Smulyan has teamed up with radio giant Citadel Communications and a small group of broadcasters to work out a model for the new company. They would then take the idea to other industry players. The news report said discussion over the new entity had been going on for several months.

Radio broadcasts are far more widely available on the Internet than video broadcasts, with over 1 million Web sites said to be broadcasting everything from major stations’ music to talk radio out of Web users’ garages.

Likewise, giant AFMF, formerly Chancellor Media, recently created a media division to explore opportunities on the Web.

Emmis Communications owns 15 radio stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and St. Louis. With pending acquisitions, Citadel owns more than 70 FM and about 35 AM stations in 20 markets.

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