Emmis Communications

Emmis Communications (NASDAQ: EMMS) owns 11 FM and 3 AM radio stations in Austin, Indianapolis and New York. Emmis has a controlling interest in Digonex, a dynamic pricing company, Indianapolis Monthly, a city regional magazine and has been voted the Most Respected Radio Company in a poll of industry CEOs. Over the last three decades, Emmis has created one of the most unique work environments in the communications industry – the Emmis Culture. Our culture carries at its heart the belief that, in order to succeed, a company must take risks, treat its people well and give them the tools they need to win. It has earned us a reputation as a fun, exciting and innovative company where every individual is a part of the team. The Emmis culture breeds creativity and innovation. Employees at every level are encouraged to think out of the box, experiment and contribute.


Jeff Smulyan, Chairman, CEO, and Founder

Why is a healthy democracy important to achieving your company’s purpose?

A healthy democracy is important for Emmis because without it, transparency and rule of law disappear. We saw that happen when we were awarded a radio license in Hungary, and Slager Radio was born. It became a dominant network, reaching nearly half the country’s population every week. And just like that – the network was nationalized, despite our strongest efforts. That’s what happens in an unhealthy democracy.

Why are voting rights important to your business?

A healthy democracy allows businesses to thrive, and you can only have a healthy democracy when everyone has the right and access to vote.

How do you encourage your employees to become more civically engaged?

We have been shocked by the lack of civic education among the population at large. We believe that businesses need to lead and emphasize the importance of democracy, and it’s an area we are working on.

What are your company’s other projects to help support voters, protect elections, and overcome political divides?

Emmis owns radio stations and a monthly lifestyle magazine. We provide the forum for vigorous debate through the channels we own, and believe others should do likewise.

Why did you decide to become a member of Business for America?

Emmis became a member of Business for America because we believe in its values. For the health of democracy, it is incumbent on business to become more active. We have to be good citizens, and good corporate citizens. I have seen that firsthand through my work with the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, which squarely places businesses on the front lines of societal issues that affect lives.

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