Election Money Fuels Big Gains For Scripps

ArrowUp-overMoneyBig political dollars drove another group of TV stations -- owned by E.W. Scripps -- to strong financial results.

Revenues nearly doubled in the third quarter to $125 million from $70 million for the third quarter of 2011 -- with $33.9 million coming from political advertising. This figure included some new stations. Overall local advertising climbed 25% to $52 million, with national spot advertising up 39% to $26 million.

TV stations' net profits were $41.8 million, up from $8.1 million a year ago.

Looking at same-station results, TV revenue climbed 41% to $98.8 million -- with $28 million coming from political advertising. Local advertising for these stations was down 1%, and national spot grew 6%.

A year ago, political advertising was just $2 million.

Scripps says some of its main, ongoing TV advertisers' media schedules were "displaced" due to the high volume of political spending -- which it says is a common occurrence during a big political season. The company expects core advertisers -- including automotive and retail categories -- to return to the air in the back half of the fourth quarter.

Scripps says revenue from retrans fees climbed 86% to $7.4 million. Digital revenues grew by almost the same rate -- 85% to $4.0 million.

Scripps' newspapers unit was down 3.7% in revenue to $92.4 million.

Company-wide revenues climbed 31% to $220 million -- this included revenue from newly acquired TV stations in Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego and Bakersfield. Net income was $12 million -- a reverse from the $10.7 million net loss in the third quarter of 2011.

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