Scripps TV Stations: Lower Core Ad Results, Higher Retrans And Political

E.W. Scripps TV stations witnessed slipping first-quarter core advertising, but retransmission fees and political advertising provided strong overall revenue results.

Television revenues grew 13% to $180 million on a same-station basis, and nearly 58% when including new station acquisitions. Mid-day Friday trading of its stock was up 10%. to $16.25.

Retrans revenue increased 38% to $53.6 million; with political advertising revenue totaling $9.3 million compared with $800,000 in 2015.

All this more than made up for local same-station advertising results. Local TV advertising slipped 2.2% to $80.3 million on a same-station basis; national spot TV advertising was down 1.6% to $33.4 million.

For the second quarter, Scripps expects revenues to see continued growth -- up 15% to 18%.

Radio revenue slipped 5% to $14.6 million; digital revenue improved 56% to $12.3 million, which included the acquisition of Midroll. Without that purchase, revenue was up 25%.

Overall, E.W. Scripps revenues grew 70% to $209 million, primarily as a result of buying TV and radio stations from the former Journal Communications. It reversed a $5.1 million net loss in the first quarter of 2015 to a net profit of $4.9 million.



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