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Monday, January 12, 2015

Austin Kudos on the Emmis Earnings Call


When Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan ran down the numbers during the Emmis Conference Call Thursday, Jeff sounded like he had a little pride in his voice when he mentioned Austin having a "very strong plus 7 market." Austin seems to be performing quite well for Emmis. Radio Ink reached out to Austin Emmis Market Manager Scott Gillmore for some insight into the good numbers coming out of Austin.

Even with the rapid decline in the oil market, Texas in general just keeps galloping along. Scott Gillmore, Emmis Austin Market Manager is bullish on the Austin economy, "The Austin economy is very healthy, with some of the lowest unemployment in Texas (a state that compares well nationally). In addition, tech, automotive, retail and service industries did very well in 2014 and should do about as well in 2015."

So what are Gillmore's radio colleagues saying about how the 2015 Austin economy is looking? Scott says, "The forecast in Austin is looking strong. Oil prices, while good for consumers, can hurt oil producing states like Texas, and that?s a concern in 2015. However, Austin?s economy is not energy heavy like some other cities in the state. Calendar Q1 is already off to a good start."

Keeping it local, it's an Austin buzz-phrase, and Gillmore seems to follow it in his business strategies. Scott says, "I think our cluster is doing well because we are so locally responsive to local listeners and advertisers. We have many great long-standing relationships with both listeners and advertisers." He also credits his staff, emphasizing the strength of the clusters "local strong personalities, strong local salespeople, local events, local mobile and digital content to engage the community." Notice that "local" word keeps popping up in the conversation. Scott goes on to say, "Our competitors in this market are pretty good too, and that?s good for radio and the community!   

Emmis Austin properties: news/talk KLBJ 590 AM/99.7-FM, rocker 93.7 KLBJ, alternative 101X, 103.5 Bob FM, hispanic 107.1 La Zeta and Latino 102.7, and AAA KGSR.

Changing gears, Gillmore was willing to weigh in on the recent Radio Ink story highlighting Station Security in the Age of Terrorism. Gillmore stated, "I think everyone has a heightened awareness of security these days and radio operators with news/talk stations or talk & personality based shows need to be even more vigilant. Emmis Austin Radio has made numerous efforts to improve safety and security in recent years. From simple things like increased outdoor lighting and better secured entrances, to video cameras, increased employee awareness and 24/7/365 building security, we always hope that we are doing a lot of work in this area that we?ll never need!"

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