Scripps Rolls Cable Networks Into New Company

Scripps Interactive begins trading on New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.

Booming basic-cable networks Food Network and Home & Garden Television are the heart of newly minted Scripps Interactive, which began trading Tuesday under New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol SNI.

E.W. Scripps

The company was created via a cashless stock distribution from E.W. Scripps, which retains slower-growing broadcast-TV stations and newspaper properties and trades as SSP.

Scripps Interactive was immediately included in the S&P 500 index, which means institutional funds tracking that benchmark will have to buy its stock.

The separation was first proposed in October, required regulatory approvals and was voted by E.W. Scripps shareholders June 13. Stockholders of record June 16 received one share of Scripps Interactive tax-free.

Splitting up companies to increase shareholder value was also pursued by Viacom, which in 2005 separated CBS, although that transaction is deemed unsuccessful so far. Barry Diller-led new-media and commerce conglomerate InterActiveCorp plans to split into five companies. Also, Time Warner intends to spin off large cable business Time Warner Cable by the end of the year.

Scripps Interactive’s other properties include DIY, Fine Living and country-music network Great American Country; interactive services; and online-search and comparison-shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch.

Meanwhile, E.W. Scripps owns 10 broadcast-TV stations and newspapers in 15 U.S. markets.