QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps 3Q TV Station Revenue Grows 22%

The increase to $121 million was fueled by higher local, political and digital revenue as well as a 46% rise in retrans money.

The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported that its television station revenue in the third quarter of 2014 was $121 million, up $21.8 million or 22% from the same quarter in 2013.

Advertising revenue broken down by category was:

  • Local, up 1.8% to $55.6 million
  • National, down 2.8% to $26.6 million
  • Political, $17.4 million compared to $1 million in the 2013 quarter
  • Retransmission fees, up 46% to $15.2 million
  • Digital revenue increased 8.5% to $4.6 million.

TV station expenses increased 14% to $91.3 million, and on a same-station basis, total costs and expenses increased 6.7%. The expenses include higher digital costs due to sales staff hiring and other digital support. In addition, the company saw higher employee-related costs because of salary increases and severance associated with a new master control hub. 

Higher network fees tied to the increase in retransmission revenue drove $2.3 million of the $10.9 million increase. 

Segment profit in the television division was $29.8 million in the 2014 quarter compared with $18.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

The company as a whole reported consolidated revenue of $208 million, an increase of 9.5%, or $18.1 million, from the year-earlier quarter.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Commenting on the second quarter results, Scripps Chairman-President-CEO Rich Boehne said: “Television demonstrated its power as a platform for engaging local voters once again in the third quarter. Our local TV brands proved to be the venue of choice for candidates and issue backers in several of the most active election states. For us, this is a low-cost revenue stream that at its peak displaces some core local advertisers. Many of them choose to wait instead of competing with the flurry of political messages. Now with the elections behind us, we expect core advertisers to return through the remainder of the fourth quarter.

“Also in the quarter, we debuted our fourth Scripps-owned original show, the next step in our move to moderate syndicated programming costs and boost profits by tapping our own experience to build audiences and revenues. The Now, which launched in eight of our TV markets at 4 p.m., provides a daily in-depth look at the stories trending locally and nationally, offering deeper perspective and social interaction for the early news audience. 

“Digital advertising growth in TV markets once again came from our dedicated digital sales force. We continue to refine our internal investments and the strategy that this quarter produced, in five of our markets, in excess of 20 percent year-over-year growth in sustainable organic revenue streams. That performance helped drive the 8.5 percent overall growth.”


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