I know it seems like a dull, no-future, low-tech business, but radio still generates cash flow, and that cash flow still has value. So while some investors spend their time arguing about whether Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) or XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) will come out on top in the satellite radio universe, terrestrial radio operators such as EmmisBroadcasting (NASDAQ:EMMS) focus on running profitable, cash-rich businesses.

Looking at second-quarter results for Emmis, it's easy to get a bit confused. While it would seem that the company missed both top- and bottom-line estimates, there's more to it than that. Adding back revenue from the TV stations (which the company now treats as discontinued) shows that the top line was fine. As for earnings, management believes that analysts miscalculated the effect of higher interest expenses and lower shares outstanding in the wake of a debt-financed tender offer that occurred in June. In other words, according to management, performance in the second quarter was essentially on target.

But this one quarter isn't the big story at Emmis. The big story is that the company is undergoing a significant change and even bigger changes may lie ahead. First, the company is in the process of selling its 16 TV stations. Thirteen stations are now under agreement, and the proceeds are close to the $1 billion or so that the company had hoped to fetch for all 16.

Second, Emmis is involved with two separate bids that could really alter the business. It is involved in the CEO's effort to acquire ownership of the Washington Nationals professional baseball team, and it is in the running for some (and perhaps all) of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) radio network.

It's not unfair to ask whether the bid for the Nationals is really in the best interests of investors, especially when you see that long-term shareholders are barely better off today than they were in 1996. But I do believe that management is trying to drive shareholder value higher and is attempting to position the company to take advantage of new opportunities. Nevertheless, with no dividend and potentially large changes afoot, I'm not sure that Fools should rush in just yet.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).