E.W. Scripps reported second quarter television station revenue of $111.4 million, down 4.9% compared to the same quarter a year ago due to last year's substantial political ad spending. Excluding political, TV revenue increased 4.5%.
Local ad revenue was up 1.5% and national grew 3.3%.
"Although masked by the near absence of political advertising in 2013, the off year for elections, our core television revenues showed good growth on the strength of expanding local audiences," said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO. "Local, national and digital advertising all grew, and retransmission fees moved up 34%.
"At the same time, expenses were down in the television division thanks to the success of our programming strategy," he continued. "We now have two Scripps-owned shows on the air, Let's Ask America and The List, and partner in another, RightThisMinute, which are quickly building audiences and lessening our reliance on purchased syndicated shows."
Expenses for the TV station group were down 1.6%.
Total revenue from newspapers in the second quarter was $93.5 million, down 3.8% from the second quarter of 2012 but an improvement over the first-quarter decline of 4.7%.
Scripps' consolidated revenues were $207.9 million, a decrease of 4.2% in the quarter.
Scripps expects television revenues to be down mid- to high teens in the third quarter, up against enormous political spending comparisons.