Fueled by its acquisition of the McGraw-Hill stations, E.W.
Scripps reported $125 million in third-quarter television station revenue, up
from $70 million in the third quarter of 2011. On a same-station basis,
television revenue increased 41% in the quarter to $98.8 million.
Excluding the new stations, consolidated revenues increased
15% to $193 million, led by what Scripps called "the strongest
third-quarter revenue performance ever reported by the company's television
Operating income in the quarter was $18.3 million, compared
with an operating loss of $17.9 million in
the third quarter of 2011.
"An aggressive realignment of our company over the past
two years has positioned us to take advantage of improvements in our core
television business, growth in digital audiences, and a huge surge in political
advertising," said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. "In the
television division, our investments in local news content, original
programming to replace underperforming syndicated shows, and in sales
infrastructure to maximize political dollars are all showing strong returns on
investments. Also ahead of expectations are the four additional markets -- Denver,
Indianapolis, San Diego and Bakersfield -- which we acquired at the end of last
Local TV revenue grew 25% in the quarter, though was down 1%
on a same-station basis. National revenue was up 39%, and up 6% on a
Political was $33.9 million in the quarter, compared to $2
million in the 2011 third quarter.
Revenue from Scripps' retransmission consent agreements rose
86% year over year to $7.4 million. Digital revenues in the third quarter
increased 85% to $4.0 million.
Largely as a result of the addition of the new stations,
expenses for the TV station group grew 35% to $83.5 million.
Scripps said its two homegrown access programs, Let's Ask America and The List, "are performing at or
above the company's expectations."
Total revenue from Scripps newspapers in the third quarter
was $92.4 million, down 3.7% from the third quarter of 2011.
Scripps forecasts television revenues to be up about 80% in
the fourth quarter; excluding the newly acquired stations, it should be 35-40%