A better-than-expected surge in political advertising, the contribution of television stations that were acquired in late 2011, and solid growth in spot television advertising led The E.W. Scripps Co. to report significant year-over-year improvement in operating results for the second quarter of 2012.
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported that revenue from the company’s television stations in the second quarter was $117 million, compared with $77 million in the second quarter of 2011. The 2012 quarter included revenue from the television stations in four markets that were acquired on Dec. 30, 2011. On a same-station basis, television revenue increased 16% in the quarter to $89.2 million.
Reported advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 32% to $60.2 million (up 3.6% on a same-station basis)
- National, up 40% to $31.5 million (up 3.7% on a same-station basis)
- Political was $11.2 million, compared to less than $1 million in the 2011 quarter. Excluding the newly acquired stations, political advertising totaled $8.2 million in the second quarter. That compares with $4.4 million on a same-station basis in the second quarter of 2010 (the previous election cycle) and $1.6 million in 2008 (the previous presidential cycle).
Revenue from retransmission consent agreements more than doubled year over year to $7.8 million as a result of new agreements with cable operators that were negotiated in 2011. Same-station retransmission revenue increased 41% to $5.4 million.
Digital revenue continues to grow at a healthy pace for the company’s TV stations. In the second quarter, digital revenues doubled to $3.5 million. Excluding the new stations, digital revenue grew 21%. Pageviews to the stations’ websites was up 21% year-over-year in the second quarter, and mobile pageviews increased 40% at the legacy stations.
Expenses for the TV station group were $82.2 million, a 30% increase driven by the addition of the new stations. Excluding the new stations, expenses were down 2%, or slightly better than guidance.
The television division’s segment profit in the second quarter was $34.9 million, compared with $14 million in the year-ago period.
For the company as a whole, consolidated revenues rose 19% to $217 million from $183 million in the second quarter of 2011.
Read the company’s report here.