provided preliminary 2008 financial guidance for its business segments Wednesday, projecting revenue from broadcasting to spike sharply for the year.
A heated market for political advertising is expected to drive up revenue at Scripps' television-station group by as much as 15%-20% in 2008, while NBC’s coverage of the summer Olympic Games will also be a contributor.
“In addition to hard-fought presidential campaigns in Ohio, Florida and Michigan, where we operate market-leading stations, we expect to benefit from Senate races in Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Arizona and a governor's race in Missouri,” Scripps chief operating officer Rich Boehne told a room full of investors at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York. Boehne expects political revenues to be larger than the record $44 million the company generated in 2006
TV-station expenses are expected to grow in the mid- to high-single-digits next year.
The company also said it expects to see an 8%-10% rise in revenue at Scripps Networks, which will be driven in part by scheduled increases in affiliate fees and is assessed based on the strength of upfront-advertising commitments. Expenses are expected to rise by the same 8%-10% margin on an increase in programming costs.
In October, the company announced that it was splitting up its business into two publicly traded companies focused on national networks, Scripps Networks, and local media such as newspaper and television stations, E.W. Scripps. The company is on track to complete this transaction by the end of the second quarter of 2008.