Battered TV stations and cable networks will leave fourth-quarter earnings
short of expectations, The E.W. Scripps Co. warned.
The company said net income will fall 15 percent to 30 percent short of
expectations, but it offered no guidance for cash flow or even operating
Blame it on the slack ad market. In October alone, newspaper sales dropped 12
percent to $59.4 million; cable networks including Food Network and Home &
Garden Television dropped 10 percent to $27.3 million; and TV stations fell 31
percent to $27.3 million.
Investors were already expecting bad news and only took 3 percent out of
Scripps' stock price.
The company's shares have actually done fairly well in recent months. After
dropping 25 percent from August through October, Scripps' share price now stands
about 10 percent shy of its 52-week high of $71.
Investors widely believe the company to be takeover bait, with The Walt
Disney Co. hovering in case the Scripps family decides to sell its stations and