QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps 1Q Television Revenue Up 13%

Strong political and retrans drive the total to $180 million. The digital segment adds another $12.3 million to the company’s overall total.

 

The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported $180 million of television station group revenue in the first quarter of 2016, up 13.2% from the year-earlier quarter.

Advertising revenue broken down by category was:

  • Local, down 2.2% to $80.3 million.
  • National, down 1.6% to $33.4 million.
  • Political, $9.3 million compared to $800,000 a year ago.
  • Retransmission revenue was up 38% to $53.6 million.

Total television segment expenses increased 14% to $138 million, driven by increases in programming fees tied to affiliation agreements. The company said the increases also were affected by strategic investments to maintain and grow strong ratings, especially in the markets where Scripps expects the greatest presidential-election spending.

First-quarter segment profit in the television division was $41.7 million, compared to $37.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Digital division revenue was $12.3 million, up $4.4 million from the prior period. Expenses for the digital group were $15.5 million, an increase of $2.2 million from the prior-year period. Segment loss in the digital division was $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $5.4 million in the 2015 quarter.

For the company as a whole, revenues increased $86 million, or 70%, to $209 million, compared to the first quarter of 2015. The increase was primarily a result of the acquisition of television and radio stations from the former Journal Communications as well as increases in retransmission revenue.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman-President-CEO Rich Boehne said: “Scripps had a strong quarter, reaching or surpassing our financial targets, and since then we also have further expanded our portfolio of fast-growing businesses.

“While we are enthusiastic broadcasters and continue to look for good opportunities to add to our TV station group, we also recognize that over-the-top digital delivery of both video and audio is creating marketplaces where we can build value for our owners.

“In our television division, the presidential election year — the peak of our four-year cycles — got off to a good start. We saw strong political advertising revenue across our geographic footprint, including earlier-than-expected spending for U.S. Senate races in Ohio, Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin. These races are expected to be tight and are important contributors to our first-half political revenue.

“We’re preparing now for the presidential campaign to move forward with two candidates, framing the decision for voters and setting up a contest that will be largely waged on television. We continue to be optimistic that the two candidates will require significant television advertising in order to educate and inform voters of their choices. No medium serves this role better than broadcast television.”

Read the company’s report here.


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