Retrans money increases 37%, digital revenue up 20%, local revenue grows 7.4%, while national dips 4.6%. The numbers are higher when the results of its nine stations acquired last year are added in.
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported operating results for the first quarter of 2012 that it said reflect “improved profitability of the company’s local media businesses, driven by strong top- and bottom-line performance at the television stations and continued moderation of the declines in newspaper revenues.”
Revenue from the company’s television stations in the first quarter was $99.6 million, compared with $69 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a same-station basis, television revenue increased 11.7% in the quarter to $77 million.
Reported advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 37% to $56.4 million (up 7.4% on a same-station basis).
- National, up 28% to $25.7 million (down 4.6% on a same-station basis).
- Political was $4.7 million, compared to less than $500,000 in the 2011 quarter.
- Revenue from retransmission consent agreements nearly doubled year over year to $7.8 million. Same-station retransmission revenue increased 37% to $5.4 million.
- Digital revenue rose approximately 50% year over year to $3.1 million in the first quarter. Excluding the new stations, digital revenue grew 20%.
Expenses for the TV station group were $81.7 million, a 31% increase driven by the addition of nine new stations. Excluding the new stations, expenses were down 1%.
The television division’s segment profit in the first quarter was $17.9 million, compared with $6.8 million in the year-ago period.
“We’re off to an encouraging start in 2012,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps president-CEO. “Revenue in our TV and newspaper markets came in a little better than expected and the associated cash expenses were down, despite the investments we’re making in new digital products and services.
“Total cash flow in the quarter was up thanks primarily to good results from operations, which bolstered our already-strong balance sheet and gave us the opportunity to invest another $5.7 million in ourselves through stock repurchase.
“In the television division, our newly acquired stations in Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego and Bakersfield performed as planned in their first 90 days under Scripps ownership. Our other nine markets enjoyed good revenue growth in the first quarter due, in part, to strong demand for ad time by automakers and dealers, and thanks to our continued focus on bringing new advertisers to television for the first time,” Boehne said.
Read the company’s report here.