Scripps, Journal Communications and Gannett among those reporting revenue increases.
Group broadcasters reported strong revenue results for February. Many were helped by Winter Olympics advertising and increases were reported for both local and national sales. Reporting companies included:
E.W. Scripps Co.
E. W. Scripps today reported February revenue for its Scripps Networks, Shop At Home, newspaper and broadcast television operating divisions.
At the company’s broadcast television stations, February revenue was up 34% to $30.2 million. Sale of commercial time related to the Super Bowl on the company’s six ABC affiliates and the Winter Olympics on the company’s three NBC affiliates contributed to the strong revenue growth. Broken down by category, broadcast television revenue was:
- Local, up 40% to $19.6 million.
- National, up 25% to $9.4 million.
At Scripps Networks revenue was up 23% to $78.1 million in February compared with the same month a year ago. February advertising revenue at Scripps Networks was up 23% and affiliate fee revenue increased 22%. Scripps Networks includes the company’s portfolio of national cable and satellite television networks, including HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country (GAC).
HGTV and Food Network can both be seen in 89 million U.S. television households. DIY Network and Fine Living can be seen in about 36 million households. GAC reached 40 million U.S. households in February.
At Shop At Home, the company’s television retailing subsidiary, February revenue was down 27% to $24.2 million. The company announced on Feb. 2 that it is in the process of exploring strategic alternatives for Shop At Home.
At the company’s newspapers, total revenue was up 5.2% to $58.9 million. Newspaper advertising revenue grew 6.7% during February. Broken down by category, newspaper advertising revenue during the month was:
- Local, up 2.1% to $13.6 million.
- Classified, up 12% to $20.0 million.
- National, down 13% to $2.8 million.
- Preprint, online and other, up 9.5% to $11.1 million.
Journal Communications Inc.
Journal Communications reported total revenues in February for its publishing and broadcast groups of $40.70 million, an increase of 13.3% compared to $35.91 million reported for February 2005. For February 2006, advertising revenues of $34.23 million increased 16.9% compared to $29.30 million for the month a year ago.
Total revenues in February 2006 were hurt by the shutdown of its Louisiana printing plant while both total and advertising revenues for the period were boosted by the Winter Olympics and new television operations acquired on Dec. 5, 2005. Excluding the new television operations, total revenues increased 2.4% and advertising revenues increased 3.4%.
At the broadcasting segment, total revenue at the company’s radio stations and television stations of $16.70 million increased 48.5% compared to $11.24 million reported for February 2005. Excluding the new television operations, broadcast revenues increased 13.6%.
At the television group, revenue increased 100.8% to $11.31 million compared to $5.63 million due to the new television operations and the first 10 days of the Winter Olympics. Excluding the new television operations, television revenues increased 31.0%.
At the radio group, revenue was $5.39 million, a decrease of 3.9% compared to $5.61 million. The decline was due primarily to softness in three categories: advertising by television stations on its radio stations during the February Olympics sweeps period, automotive and casino advertising.
At the publishing segment, revenues at the daily newspaper and the community newspapers and shoppers totaled $24.01 million, down 2.7% compared to $24.67 million. Advertising revenue was $17.54 million, down 2.9% compared to $18.06 million. Circulation revenue of $4.26 million was down 1.3% compared to $4.31 million. Other revenue of $2.21 million was down 3.9%, reflecting the loss of commercial printing due to the closure of its Louisiana printing plant.
Gannett total pro forma operating revenues for February 2006 were up 0.4%, reflecting higher ad demand in broadcasting and gains in classified advertising at its domestic community newspapers partially offset by lower ad demand at its U.K. properties. (For comparison purposes, the exchange rate of Sterling year-over-year affected results for the company’s U.K. operations. If the exchange rate had remained constant year-over-year, total pro forma operating revenues would have increased 1.5%.)
Pro forma (assuming that all properties presently owned were owned in both periods) broadcasting revenues were up 32.6% in the second period as its NBC affiliates benefited from Winter Olympics related advertising. Compared to the same period in 2005, local television revenues were up 28.9% while national revenues were 45.5% higher. Based on results to date and current pacings for March, the company said that television revenues are ahead of last year’s first quarter results in the high single digits.
In February, Gannett’s domestic Web sites had approximately 22.8 million unique visitors reaching over 15% of the Internet audience.
Pro forma newspaper advertising revenues in February decreased 2.8% compared with the same period in 2005 on declines of 3.4% in ROP volume and 2.7% in preprint distribution. If the exchange rate had remained constant year-over-year, total pro forma newspaper advertising revenues would have been 1.6% lower.