The gain to $167 million is aided by higher retransmission revenue and offset somewhat by an increase in network compensation tied to the renegotiation of the ABC affiliation agreements for 10 stations.
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported that its television station group revenue in the second quarter of 2015 was $167 million, up $4.5 million, an increase of 2.7%.
Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- • Local, down 5.4% to $87.3 million
- • National, up 0.8% to $39 million
- • Political, $2.2 million in 2015 compared to $6.9 million in 2014
Retransmission revenues increased $13.5 million, to $36 million.
Total segment expenses increased 6.6% to $123 million, driven by an increase in network compensation tied to the renegotiation of the ABC affiliation agreements for 10 of its stations.
Second-quarter segment profit in the television division was $45 million, compared with $48 million in the year-ago quarter, a decrease of 6.3%.
The company’s digital group revenues were $8.6 million, up 16% from the prior period, driven by increased sales from the television integrated sales team and dedicated digital sellers as well as increased revenue from programmatic advertising and passive business-to-consumer products.
Expenses for the digital group were $13.5 million, an increase of $700,000 from the prior year period. Segment loss in the digital division was $4.9 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared with $5.4 million in the 2014 quarter.
The company as a whole reported revenue from continuing operations of $198 million, up $78 million from the prior-year’s 2Q.
Commenting on the second quarter results, Scripps Chairman-President-CEO Rich Boehne said: “On April 1, we smoothly completed our transaction with Journal Communications and moved ahead into a full quarter of operations with 33 television stations, 34 radio stations and a complement of local and national digital media brands.
“The remainder of 2015 is focused on integrating these new stations and positioning us for the tremendous opportunity of 2016. Our large collection of stations in key swing states makes Scripps one of the most valuable platforms for political advertising in presidential election years, and 2016 could be a record year for campaign spending to reach those most critical voters. Also next year, we expect retransmission revenue to jump more than 50 percent thanks to step ups and renewals of agreements with our cable and satellite TV distribution partners.
“Although the newspaper spinoff and broadcast merger transformed Scripps into one of the larger local television groups in the country, we see opportunity to further strengthen our broadcast footprint while also building and investing in businesses that take advantage of new media technologies, emerging media marketplaces and shifting consumer habits. Our growing collection of digital brands, including Newsy, WeatherSphere, and an extensive network of local news brands, continues to be an area where we are investing in business models with strong organic growth.
“Two weeks ago that collection expanded through the purchase of podcast industry leader Midroll Media, a five-year-old company that creates podcast shows, offers a terrific podcast-serving app called Howl, and generates revenue for well over 200 other podcast shows. Midroll’s high-quality storytelling, comedy, journalism and other entertainment categories fit well with the Scripps mission and strategy for increasing the reach of our national digital brands.”
Read the company’s report here.