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CEO Admits Big Boy’s Exit from Power 106 Hurt Emmis Communications


Indianapolis based Emmis Communications’ revenue was down 5.3% and went from $63 million 52 weeks previous to $59.6 million. As a result the corporation had decided to layoff 3% of the staff and hopes to cut close to $8 million from the budget. The corporation is cutting the pay of all senior execs and decided not to renew the contract for industry vet Deon Levingston who was based in the New York offices. During a conference call yesterday (Thursday) Jeff Smulyan, Emmis CEO admitted “We’ve made some changes and they’re very painful changes. This is always very, very hard for us.”

Smulyan specifically pointed out that Big Boy’s exit from the Los Angeles outlet Power 106 hurt the corporation financially. iHeartmedia launched Hot 92.3 and wooed the vet jock over from Power 106 a year ago by tripling his salary while he was in the process of negotiating a new contract with Power 106. Big Boy had been with Power 106 for almost 2 decades. The company owns 19 FM and four AM radio stations in: New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Austin, Texas.

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1 comment

Radio Mastermind August 20, 2016 at 11:11 am

The fact remains that Power 106 had little to no competition in the Los Angeles market. Sure, other stations would play a few hip-hop songs (I’m talking to you KIIS-FM), but there was truly no competition. KDAY cannot be considered a true competitor as KDAY’s signal is tiny (Class A) and KDAY plays very little contemporary hip hop.

With that being said, Emmis was blind to the fact that losing Big Boy wasn’t Power 106’s only issue. A PD with little to no experience dealing with fending off a direct competitor was an even bigger issue. Not having a strategy in place to defend against Real 92.3 was and continues to be the real problem here. When you’re comfortable being a stand-alone in the market for well over 15+ years means that you get soft in your ways. The station itself continues to ignore the fact that they have to promote the station with other means necessary. There are no billboards for Power 106, no TV spots and no real contests that drive listenership. Real 92.3 on the other hand has had multiple billboard campaigns, large cash giveaways, a PD with a proven track record of launching stations in other markets and a name brand morning show. The list goes on and on…

If Rick Cummings and Jeff Smulyan truly want to impact the LA radio landscape, then bring in some help over at KPWR. Put up some marketing money, get a brand name morning show in a town that is all about brand names, get aggressive…The Power 106 staff is full of great people, let the leash off and pump some money into the station and lets see what it can do!


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