Emmis Investor Complains; Emmis Responds
July 11, 2008 at 5:04 AM (PT)
While EMMIS BROADCASTING reported Q1 financials YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 7/10), the company's performance led investor FRANK MARTIN, of MARTIN INVESTMENTS, to assail EMMIS and single out a prominent member of its board of directors, SUSAN BAYH of WASHINGTON, D.C. She is the wife of Sen. EVAN BAYH, D-IN, reports THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR.
MARTIN's letter, dated JULY 8th, was filed by EMMIS with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which made the letter public THURSDAY.
The letter contends SUSAN BAYH, as lead director of EMMIS, is "spreading herself so thin" serving on the boards of eight corporations. The letter suggests but does not detail what it calls "a possible conflict of interest between personal financial moves and the broader duty of loyalty she has to her multiple constituents."
"It is disappointing to see the tack that FRANK is taking," said EMMIS spokeswoman KATE SNEDEKER. "(SUSAN BAYH) has been an incredibly valuable member of the board. One of the things she does is ensure we adhere to the highest ethical standards."
EMMIS shrugged off MARTIN in a prepared statement:
"FRANK writes us frequently, and as you could tell from the letter, he lacks perspective on the challenges facing our industry. As we discussed on the earnings call just this morning, EMMIS will continue to play a leadership role in finding solutions for the challenges of American media. If any of our shareholders have longer-term, constructive ideas for creating value, we welcome their comments. FRANK's only solution is short-term -- to liquidate -- and that's not an option."