The dip to $171 million was due to lower national and political dollars that weren’t offset by a 45% increase in retrans revenue.
Scripps Pro Forma 4Q TV Revenue Down 5%
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported that on a same-station basis its television station group revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $171 million, down 5%. Retransmission revenue increased $11 million while political advertising revenue decreased $42 million in the off-cycle year. The results are adjusted to take into account the Scripps-Journal merger.
Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 0.2% to $90.2 million
- National, down 0.8% to $38.3 million
- Political, $2.1 million in 2015 compared to $43.9 million in 2014
- Core (local and national) advertising increased 1% percent on a same-station, adjusted combined basis, excluding the results of KNIN Boise, Idaho (Scripps divested the station on Oct. 1, 2015, as part of its merger with Journal).
- Retransmission revenue was up 46.5% to $35.9 million.
Total segment expenses increased 12 percent to $129 million, driven by increases in programming fees tied to affiliation agreements we signed with ABC covering 10 of our stations in December 2014 and with CBS for Nashville in July.
Fourth-quarter segment profit in the television division was $41.4 million, compared to $83.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman-President-CEO Rich Boehne said: “Finally, 2016 is upon us, and we anticipate the highest revenue year in our television division’s history as we hit the very top of the four-year political advertising cycle. We are positioning our stations to make the most of the anticipated record broadcast television election spending. That includes making strategic investments to maintain and grow strong ratings, especially in the markets where we expect the greatest presidential election spending. We have one of the most attractive presidential election advertising footprints in the industry, and we’re well prepared to make the most of it.
“We finished the year by completing the integration of the former Journal Communications stations. We will launch our original programs The List and Right This Minute in six former Journal markets this year as well as launch The List in syndication starting in September 2016.
“In the fourth quarter, our over-the-top video news service Newsy finalized distribution deals with 10 new partners, which puts Newsy’s original reporting and fresh take on global news in front of the growing OTT audience. All of these new partners join Apple TV and Comcast’s Watchable, both of which went live with Newsy during the fourth quarter, in providing the company with an even stronger foothold in the high-value video advertising marketplace.
“Podcast industry leader Midroll Media, which we acquired in July, hit several milestones as 2015 came to a close. It expanded its core offerings of comedy and entertainment shows and added popular parenting and nonfiction storytelling categories. Midroll also inked a deal to be a launch partner for Google Play Music’s first podcast offering, set to launch later this year. And it continued to grow its paid audience through its Howl subscription service. The development of audio and video OTT brands such as Newsy and Midroll are part of our strategy for capturing new audiences and revenue in fast-growing marketplaces.”
Read the company’s report here.