A better-than-expected surge in political advertising, a
late 2011 acquisition, and growth in spot advertising led E.W. Scripps to $117
million in second-quarter television revenue, a whopping 52% higher than its
second-quarter 2011 TV revenue. On a same-station basis, television revenue
increased 16% to $89.2 million.
The quarter included revenue from the former McGraw-Hill
stations in four markets that were acquired on Dec. 30, 2011. Excluding the new
stations from the 2012 performance, consolidated revenues increased 3.3%.
Political advertising on the Scripps stations was $11.2
million in the quarter. Local advertising grew 32% and national gained 40%.
Revenue from retransmission consent more than doubled year over year to $7.8
million as a result of new agreements with cable operators negotiated in 2011.
Same-station retransmission revenue increased 41% to $5.4
million. Stations' digital revenue doubled to $3.5 million in the quarter.
Overall, Scripps reported $217 million in second quarter
revenue, up 19% over the same quarter last year. Operating income in the quarter
was $14.4 million, compared with an operating loss of $2.2 million in the
"We had a promising second quarter, setting us up for
good performance in the second half of the year," said Rich Boehne,
Scripps president and CEO. "A series of decisions and investments made in
recent years prepared us to capitalize on the early surge of political
advertising, and investments in local news content, more relevant syndicated
shows and digital products have created great environments for increased revenue.
"Our newly consolidated digital team is beginning to
pump out high-quality products and services for both our TV and newspaper
markets," he added. "Despite these investments in an aggressive
digital rollout, the company's total expenses, on an apples-to-apples basis,
were down in the second quarter. As a result, revenue growth fell to the bottom
line and we delivered a substantial increase in cash flow."
Things are tougher on the newspaper side, where revenue was
$97 million, down 4.7% from the second quarter of 2011. "In our newspaper
markets, revenue headwinds persist," said Boehne, "but we're
partially offsetting those challenges with expense reductions and racing to
restructure for stability and growth as an enterprise that serves both print
and digital consumers and advertisers with results that are unmatched in the
Scripps forecasts third quarter television revenue being up
70%, and 30% when excluding the new acquisitions.