The drop to $60 million was due to lower ad money from local (-15%), national (-18%) as well as political. Other revenue, which includes retrans money, was up 44% to $4.2 million.
The E.W. Scripps Co reported today that third-quarter revenue from its television stations was $59.8 million in the third quarter, a decrease of 22 percent from the third quarter of 2008, which benefitted from Olympic advertising and heavy political spending.
Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, down 15 percent to $36 million
- National, down 18 percent to $16.1 million
- Political was $1.7 million, compared with $10.3 million in the 2008 quarter
- Other revenue, which includes retransmission fees for carriage of the stations on cable and satellite systems, up 44 percent to $4.2 million
Scripps said the decrease in revenue from local and national advertisers was largely attributable to reduced spending by automotive, financial services and retail advertisers, but the year-over-year declines in local and national advertising showed sequential improvement compared with the second quarter, when local was down 26 percent and national was down 29 percent.
As is common for this stage of the election cycle, political spending in the third quarter of 2009 was down significantly compared with the year-ago period that included political advertising in advance of the November elections at the local, state and national levels.
Segment expenses for the station group decreased 5.4 percent to $56.7 million, compared with $60.0 million a year ago.
Programming costs were 11 percent higher due to contractual increases for syndicated programming in several key markets, but they were more than offset by reduced employee costs and expense savings in production and distribution.
The television division reported segment profit of $3.1 million in the third quarter, compared with $17 million in segment profit in the year-ago quarter.
Commenting, Rich Boehne, Scripps president-CEO, said: “In the TV station markets, we’re seeing some modest improvement in the flow of advertising dollars but we intend to continue funding much of our investment in content and new business categories through the shifting of internal resources.”