Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries. The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie. Roughly 75% of Emmis’ full-time employees were reminded today that they’re eligible to receive what we believe is a sizeable stock award, based on their salary level, thanks to the company’s 2012 Employee Retention Plan. Most of the press around the Plan has surrounded our preferred stock litigation. However, the Plan was also based on the idea that, when possible, you should reward employee loyalty through a difficult period. That idea is about to come to fruition. Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock. Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan. To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000.
As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000/year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7th of $3.32. The awards will vest on April 2, 2014<x-apple-data-detectors://48> and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter. It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.
Today’s announcement is another indicator of Emmis’ approach to employee engagement, retention and recognition.