Scripps To Buy Back $100M In Shares

The board of directors of the E.W. Scripps Co. on Tuesday authorized a new share repurchase program up to $100 million of the company’s Class A common shares. This authorization runs from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2018. The company’s last repurchase program, which the board of directors authorized in May 2014, expires Dec. […]

EARNINGS CALL

Scripps Weathers Perfect Political Storm

While the company’s third quarter ad gain was well below guidance due to lower campaign spending, a bright spot cited by SVP Brian Lawlor was that at least it’s not shifting to new media, adding that despite some crowding-out by political, core categories did well during the quarter, with gains registered in all five of its top categories, including a 2.5% gain in automotive.

 

QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps 3Q Television Revenue Climbs 25%

Strong political and retrans drive the total to $197 million. The digital segment adds another $15.8 million to the company’s overall total.

TVN'S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Keys To Unlocking Digital Media Revenues

While many publicly traded station groups have taken a very distinct path toward their digital media investments, one common denominator is forging relationships with third-party aggregators as well as search engine marketing and search engine optimization partners. Here’s how six station groups are taking advantage of their unique strengths to scale their offerings and maintain their leadership positions in digital.

Newsy Goes #OffTheTrail For Young Voters

Newsy, the E.W. Scripps-owned video news service, is launching a series leading up to the election to explore issues it believes need more attention.

Scripps To Debut Political Show ‘The Race’

The Race, which begins Monday on most Scripps stations throughout the nation, will feature interviews with leading political experts and those seeking office. It will air in a number of battleground markets, including Tampa, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Sales Boosts Coverage Of ‘The List’ To 25%

The syndicated news mag from Scripps, which is starting its fifth season, has been sold to stations from other station groups.

 

Scripps’ Midroll Unveils New Podcasts

E.W. Scripps-owned Midroll will distribute new podcasts from Rosie O’Donnell and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, along with a series on the Boston Strangler killings and new offerings from Entertainment Weekly and American Public Media, the podcaster said at the IAB Podcast Upfront on Wednesday.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Diversification: Broadcasting’s New Alter Ego

TV station groups are realizing that broadcasting is no longer enough — that, while it may be a solid business, it is no longer a great growth business. So they are looking to reinvent themselves by moving into new businesses like digital media and programming that can provide some upside.

Escape, Grit And Laff Add More Markets

E.W. Scripps and Cox Media are among the five station groups launching the Katz Broadcasting diginets.

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Leverage Worries Batter TV Groups Stock

Stock prices of six publicly-traded TV station groups had a rocky first half due to concerns over leverage as well as political, automotive and overall sustainability of the television business model. The companies bounced back a bit in the second quarter, but were still well below where they were on Jan. 1. Analysts, however, see signs for optimism.

DMA 27: INDIANAPOLIS

WRTV Drops Local Sports Net For Grit Diginet

Scripps-owned ABC affiliate WRTV Indianapolis (DMA 27) is canceling its Hometown Sports & News (HTSN) network on digital ch. 6.2 and is replacing it with Grit, a multicast network from Katz Broadcasting, effective Oct. 1. For five years, HTSN provided local sports to over-the-air audiences and viewers watching on Comcast and Brighthouse cable systems. Grit will deliver […]

12. E.W. SCRIPPS

12. E.W. SCRIPPS, Cincinnati 2015 Spot Revenue: $617.4 million  Stations: 36 in 24 markets  Coverage: 18.1%  Ownership: E.W. Scripps Co. (NYSE: SSP)  Key Executives: Richard A. Boehne, chairman, president and CEO, E.W. Scripps Co.; Brian Lawlor, SVP, broadcast; Adam Symson, SVP, digital. What’s Up: Last December, Scripps named Chip Mahaney national news recruiting director, tasked with hiring news directors, assistant […]

NAB 2016

Scripps Pushes Declaration Of Independence

The station group’s executives spell out how they are bucking the syndication system with their five-year-old strategy to develop home-grown programming like The List and Right This Minute. “Many in the industry thought we were nuts … and five years later, all of our peers are starting their own programming divisions based on the success that we’re having,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps SVP, broadcast.

Scripps, Raycom Seeking Multiplatform Fare

The new programming partnership between the two station groups is open to anything as long as it has a digital dimension. “I don’t like to box shows into a genre,” says Scripps’ Cater Lee. “What it does have to have — first and foremost — is a multiplatform strategy. Anyone who doesn’t think about programming that way is very short-sighted.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps Pro Forma 4Q TV Revenue Down 5%

The dip to $171 million was due to lower national and political dollars that weren’t offset by a 45% increase in retrans revenue.

Raycom, Scripps Partner On Programming

The companies say their new consortium will develop shows for daytime, early fringe and access. It will offer a combined reach of 29% of U.S. households — including 12 of the top 40 DMAs. Scripps’ Brian Lawlor: “Partnering with other broadcast groups rather than competing against them is a dynamic new way to succeed in this industry.” Paul McTear of Raycom Media: “The strength of our two companies with a rich history in local broadcasting will bring a financial and creative strength to this development consortium.”

‘The List’ Makes Digital Syndication Deal

Under new arrangement, segments from The List will have their own dedicated channel on OwnZones.com.

TVN'S EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK

Stations Becoming DIY Program Believers

A determined cadre of station groups remains intent on replacing pricey Hollywood syndication shows with programming of its own. Among the upcoming do-it-yourself offerings is a talk show from Tegna Media hosted by T.D. Jakes set to debut this fall.

Scripps Adds Marketing Dir. For ‘The List’

Michel Pelletier has been named director of marketing for The List, Scripps’ half-hour daily news magazine show.

‘The Security Brief’ Adds More Test Stations

The true-crime talk show that has already lined up a test run on Sinclair stations now adds tests on some Tegna and Scripps stations as well.

Ross Jones Joins Scripps Washington Bureau

Ross Jones, investigative reporter at Scripps-owned WXYZ Detroit will join the Scripps Washington Bureau as an investigative correspondent. In his new role, Jones will provide investigative reporting to all Scripps properties, including 33 television stations across the country. “Ross is one of the most relentless and resourceful investigators in the country. His work makes a […]

Newsy Sees Higher Engagement Via OTT

Newsy, a video news provider owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., has been expanding the breadth of its over-the-top offerings, including a completely revamped (and home built) Roku channel. Its consumers are spending more time with Newsy on OTT than other channels, and are more likely to let its story stream run than users on desktop or mobile.

DMA 11 (PHOENIX)

Scripps Doing ‘Minor Restructuring’ At KNXV

When asked about rumors of layoffs at the company’s Phoenix ABC affiliate, a Scripps spokesperson said the group is “restructuring some positions and eliminating others in an on-going effort to meet the needs of our Phoenix audiences. New jobs also will be created.”

Watchup App Adds Scripps, Meredith, More

With the new station groups, 80% of U.S. homes can watch streaming local news anytime, anyplace. The announcement follows a similar deal with Tribune Media announced last month, which gave Watchup access to video content from 30 of Tribune’s broadcast stations.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps 4Q TV Station Revenue Grows 28%

The increase to $147 million was fueled by higher political and digital revenue as well as a 41% rise in retransmission consent money.

DMA 17

Scripps’ KMGH Denver: A Station Adrift

With neither general manager nor news director in place, The Denver ABC affiliate is rudderless. The station has floated through two ratings sweeps periods on auto pilot.

Cuts Said To Be In Works At Scripps Stations

Sources tell FTVLive that it appears cuts are happening at Scripps properties. They also say that Scripps will be putting a digital content person in the news director’s chair at some stations. It is first expected to happen at KNXV Phoenix before spreading to others.

Scripps, ABC Sign New Affiliation Deal

The agreement covers 10 stations and runs through 2019. “Scripps is one of the largest owners of ABC affiliates, and we look forward to continuing our long-time collaboration with them,” said John Rouse, SVP of affiliate relations for ABC. Terms were not disclosed.

AIR CHECK WITH DIANA MARSZALEK

Scripps Stations Get Options From DC Bureau

“The focus of the company is moving away from newspapers and moving toward serving our television properties more than we ever have,” says Scripps National Investigative Correspondent Mark Greenblatt. “We are constantly trying to be aware of how we can be a service to a lot of TV stations that have different types of news,” he says. “We are trying to operate like a mini-network investing in our affiliates.”

Scripps Hires Twitter Exec For Digital Strategy

The E.W. Scripps Co. is deepening its ties to Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial community by hiring Twitter executive J.B. Kropp as vice president of digital strategy. Kropp led Twitter’s sales initiatives with Procter & Gamble for the last three years.

DMA 31

Hearst’s News VP Opts For KC GM Spot

Brian Bracco is giving up his job as group VP of news at Hearst to become GM of Scripps’ ABC-Indie duopoly in Kansas City, KSHB-KMCI. In the corporate post, Bracco has been based in Kansas City and he earlier worked in the market as news director of Hearst’s KMBC.

Scripps Stations Survive Without Top Syndies

The group owner’s execs say they are pleased with the ratings of the two home-grown shows it developed to replace syndication powerhouses Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Plus it gets to keep all the inventory in the new Let’s Ask America and The List.

Bounce TV To Become Nielsen-Rated Net

African-American broadcast network Bounce TV is one year old this week. It is adding affiliates and advertisers for year two. Also, it is preparing to become a Nielsen-rated network before this year is out.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON PROGRAMMING

Raycom Picks Up Program Production Pace

The station group schedules a third season for its America Now newsmagazine and is working with production company My Tupelo Entertainment to create more shows, including two weekday strips. “Our goal is to raise the bar again for our television stations,” says Raycom CEO Paul McTear. “We want to produce content that we know folks will like and come back to. We want to increase our ratings and advertising.”

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Scripps Co.: Old Media Dog Full Of New Tricks

The 134-year-old media company, led by CEO Rich Boehne (r), is moving away from newspapers to television with the recent purchase of the McGraw-Hill stations. With Brian Lawlor (l), television SVP, leading the charge, the near-term mission is to rebuild the stations’ cash flow margins. At the same time, Scripps has a long-range plan that focuses on investing in homegrown programming to reduce its reliance on syndicated fare; bulking up investigative news efforts; reorganizing and centralizing digital operations; and even sticking its toes in the social gaming pool. And it’s not ruling out buying more stations. “You’d definitely consider Scripps an investor going forward,” says Lawlor.

Scripps Adds Duties To 3 General Managers

FernandezRosenwasserWassermanEd Fernandez, Sam Rosenwasser and Steve Wasserman get additional group station oversight responsibilities while retaining their GM slots at WXYZ Detroit, WEWS Cleveland and WPTV West Palm Beach, respectively.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON PROGRAMMING

‘Right This Minute’ Hopes Its Time Has Come

E.W. Scripps, Cox Media Group and Raycom Media are betting other stations will want to air its syndicated video clip show, in which five TV news vets riff and report on whatever the producers can find of interest on the Web and elsewhere. The mix of news and entertainment is produced as two back-to-back half-hours, giving stations the option of splitting up the episodes into different time slots or buying the show as a single half-hour.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Many Winners In The Scripps Station Buy

With its purchase of McGraw-Hill’s stations in Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego and Bakersfield, Scripps is benefiting three constituencies: Itself, the viewers in those markets and the industry at large. Itself  and viewers because its plan to boost the new stations’ value stems from investing in news to raise ratings (and ad rates), giving viewers better news options; and the industry because the deal finally sets a price for stations that could get the station trading market rolling again. A lot of potential sellers have been sitting on the sidelines because they don’t know what their stations are worth. Now they do.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH BRIAN LAWLOR

Scripps Sees Good Fit For Its New Stations

Last week’s $212 million purchase of the McGraw-Hill TV group will boost Scripps’ U.S. coverage to 13% and make it the country’s largest owner of ABC affiliates. And it also gives it five low-power Spanish-language stations. Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ SVP of the TV division, says his company made the deal because the new stations are “a really comfortable fit” in terms of culture, geography and size. He talks about the plans to make the most of this new opportunity, the company’s first major station purchase in 20 years.