QUARTERLY REPORT

Scripps 2Q Television Revenue Up 15%

Strong political and retrans drive the total to $192 million. The digital segment adds another $15.2 million to the company’s overall total.

The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported second quarter 2016 revenue from its television group was $192 million, up $24.4 million or 15%. Retransmission revenue increased $16.9 million, and political advertising revenue was $8.4 million in the presidential election year compared to $2.2 million in 2015.

Advertising revenue broken down by category was:

• Local, up 2.6% to $88.8 million (on a same-station basis, excluding the 2015 results of its divested Boise station, KNIN)

• National, down 2.4% to $37.9 million (on a same-station basis)

• Political, $8.4 million in 2016 compared to $2.2 million in 2015

Retransmission revenue was up 46% to $53.4 million.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Core advertising was up 1.1% on a same-station basis.

Total segment expenses increased 13% to $138 million, driven by increases in programming fees tied to affiliation agreements. The expense increase also was affected by spending to increase ratings, especially in the markets where the company expects the greatest presidential-election spending.

Second-quarter segment profit in the television division was $53.3 million, compared to $44.6 million in the year-ago quarter, a 19.5% rise.

Digital division revenue was $15.2 million, up $6.6 million from the prior period. Excluding the impact of the acquisitions of Midroll, Cracked and Stitcher in the past year, revenue increased about 20%.

For the company as a whole, revenues from continuing operations were $228 million, up 15 percent from last year.

Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman-President-CEO Rich Boehne said: “We are now halfway through a political election year that is different and historic in many ways. It’s in defining moments like these when our local television platforms demonstrate their greatest value, both through skilled storytelling and through the delivery of the candidates’ own messaging.

“More than 80 percent of our potential political revenue is still ahead of us over the next 13 weeks — with about half of our total political ad revenue projected in the fourth quarter. The second quarter started more slowly than we had anticipated, with the Democrats’ Clinton-Sanders race running out longer than most people expected and delaying the start to general-election spending. Republican Donald Trump held back spending while the Democrats duked it out. We expect a more normal pace of spending to set in now that we are through the party conventions, the traditional start of the heavy spending season.

“Of course, the presidential race is typically about 30% of our presidential election-year political revenue, and meanwhile, many of our U.S. Senate races continue to be highly competitive, particularly in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. We also have two competitive governor’s races, in Indiana and Missouri.

“The addition of Cracked in April gives us three strong national digital content brands. Cracked, a longtime humor and satire brand, has tremendous appeal with young audiences and is already well-positioned on desktop and social media outlets. Our plan is to leverage the strong over-the-top television relationships we have built with Newsy to create a second OTT channel for Cracked. Cracked and Newsy are joined by over-the-top audio leader Midroll, to round out a strategy to capture younger, organically growing audiences and others drawn by Internet-delivered content.”

Read the company’s report here.


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