Scripps Station Revenue Up 79%
McGraw-Hill acquisition bolsters Q3 earnings; homegrown access shows doing well
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/9/2012 10:32:43 AM
Excluding the new stations, consolidated revenues increased 15% to $193 million, led by what Scripps called "the strongest third-quarter revenue performance ever reported by the company's television stations."
Operating income in the quarter was $18.3 million, compared with an operating loss of $17.9 million in
the third quarter of 2011.
"An aggressive realignment of our company over the past two years has positioned us to take advantage of improvements in our core television business, growth in digital audiences, and a huge surge in political advertising," said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. "In the television division, our investments in local news content, original programming to replace underperforming syndicated shows, and in sales infrastructure to maximize political dollars are all showing strong returns on investments. Also ahead of expectations are the four additional markets -- Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego and Bakersfield -- which we acquired at the end of last year."
Local TV revenue grew 25% in the quarter, though was down 1% on a same-station basis. National revenue was up 39%, and up 6% on a same-station basis.
Political was $33.9 million in the quarter, compared to $2 million in the 2011 third quarter.
Revenue from Scripps' retransmission consent agreements rose 86% year over year to $7.4 million. Digital revenues in the third quarter increased 85% to $4.0 million.
Largely as a result of the addition of the new stations, expenses for the TV station group grew 35% to $83.5 million.
Scripps said its two homegrown access programs, Let's Ask America and The List, "are performing at or above the company's expectations."
Total revenue from Scripps newspapers in the third quarter was $92.4 million, down 3.7% from the third quarter of 2011.
Scripps forecasts television revenues to be up about 80% in the fourth quarter; excluding the newly acquired stations, it should be 35-40% greater.
I've noticed Scripps introducing new stations group graphics and music to all their local newscasts... and a few of the stations getting new news sets. Hope that KMGH Denver will be getting a new set soon.
If Scripps is in a TV station buying mood... I could picture the Ohio-based media company eyeing WHAM Rochester, which Newport is looking to sell. I could also picture Scripps also eyeing WGNO New Orleans... in the event Tribune should sell the ABC affiliate and a few other TV stations and newspapers to settle massive debt... not sure if CW affiliate WNOL would be included or not. It's a thought.
Eric - 11/9/2012 8:56:48 PM EST
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