Scripps 2Q Station Revenue Up 4.5%
E.W. Scripps Co. announced second quarter results on Friday morning, including Local Media (its TV stations and local brands on all platforms) revenue of $356 million, up 9.5% from the prior-year quarter.
Core advertising decreased 2% to $158 million.
Political advertising revenue was $24 million, compared to $3.2 million in the prior-year quarter.
Retransmission revenue increased 9.4% to $171 million.
Segment expenses increased 5.7%, driven by network affiliation fees and the impact of Scripps employees returning to working in its stations, resuming more normal operating procedures.
Segment profit was $80.7 million, compared to $64.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Scripps Networks division, which includes its nine national networks, reported revenue of $239 million, equal to the prior-year quarter. Incremental ad revenue earned from the July 2021 launch of Defy TV and TrueReal networks was offset by weakness in the national advertising market..
Segment expenses increased 26% to $166 million, consistent with the company’s strategic commitment to new national networks launches and continued programming improvements.
Segment profit was $73.3 million, compared to $107 million a year earlier.
For the company as a whole, total 2Q revenue was $594 million, an increase of 5.2%, or $29.4 million, from the prior-year quarter due to higher political and retransmission revenue in the Local Media division.
Costs and expenses for segments, shared services and corporate were $463 million, up from $413 million in the year-ago quarter.
Income attributable to the shareholders of Scripps was $29.2 million or 32 cents per share.
Commenting on the quarter’s results, Scripps President-CEO Adam Symson said: “For the second quarter, Scripps met or exceeded overall expectations. Foreshadowing the record performance we expect in the back half of the year, political advertising during the first two quarters nearly equaled the level of revenue we saw for the same period of the presidential election year 2020, when Michael Bloomberg spent early and heavily in our markets to promote his presidential campaign. We also experienced smaller declines in our pay TV subscriber household counts year over year.
“While Scripps Networks revenue was short of guidance — a reflection of the weakness in the national ad market — it still equaled last year’s extraordinary performance and delivered results better than peers as well as a margin of more than 30%.”
“The Networks benefited from growth in connected TV revenue, with continued momentum expected in the back half of the year. By the end of the third quarter, most of our Scripps networks will be nearly fully distributed across connected TV platforms, and our previous CTV launches this year are garnering significant viewing, driving the increases in CTV revenue. Our networks also are available on cable and satellite and to nearly every U.S. television household through over-the-air broadcast.
“The Scripps strategy is to deliver quality programs to media consumers on their preferred TV viewing platforms – an all-of-the-above distribution approach that is paying dividends as Scripps establishes itself as a leader in free, ad-supported television.”
Read the company’s report here.