Net Loss at E.W. Scripps in Q4

Company Takes Noncash Charge vs. Earnings for uSwitch Comparison-Shopping Subsidiary
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E.W. Scripps announced a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2007 of $256 million, or $1.56 per share, down from net income of $134 million in the same quarter the year before, or 81 cents per share.

That includes a noncash charge against earnings for Scripps’ uSwitch comparison-shopping subsidiary. The company reported a $411 million charge related to uSwitch.

Scripps’ net loss for the full year was $1.6 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with net income of $353 million for the full 2006, or $2.14 per share.

"The reduced levels of energy-switching activity at uSwitch throughout 2007 have resulted in a noncash write-down of the businesses' carrying value," Scripps president and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe said. "We anticipate a return to profitability at uSwitch during the first quarter of 2008 and, in the meantime, have tactically aligned the costs of operating the business with lower levels of anticipated revenue."

Operating revenues for the fourth quarter were $679 million, down from $683 million in the same quarter of 2006. Operating income for the quarter showed a net loss of $206 million, down from income of $214 million in the same quarter of 2006.

Operating revenues for the year were up slightly (0.8%), while operating income for the entire 2007 plummeted to $210 million, down from $686 million in 2006.

E.W. Scripps owns cable networks including Home & Garden Television and Food Network; newspapers; 10 TV stations; and an interactive-media division.