Emmis' Hungary Station Taken Off The Air
November 18, 2009 at 5:57 PM (PT)
As expected, EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS' national station in HUNGARY, SLAGER RADIO, has been taken off the air. The station's license expired TODAY (11/18) as the ORTT, HUNGARY's broadcasting regulator, awarded the license to a competing bidder, FM1, which EMMIS notes is connected to a political party. Another national station, RADIO DANUBIUS, also had its license taken and given to a politically connected bidder, with the winning bidders in both cases offering the government a much higher share of revenues in exchange for the licenses.
A resolution was introduced in the U.S. Congress TODAY calling on the Hungarian government to reverse its decision.
EMMIS Chairman and CEO JEFF SMULYAN said, "We are deeply disappointed, not only for Emmis and our people, but most of all for the people of HUNGARY. Whenever freedom and democracy are taken away, every citizen suffers immeasurably. All of HUNGARY has suffered today."
EMMIS and RADIO DANUBIUS owner ACCESSION MEZZANINE CAPITAL LP have previously said that they will pursue legal remedies.