E.W. Scripps TV stations posted slightly lower core advertising revenue in the third quarter and higher retransmission fees. But stock market investors weren’t happy.
Core local and national advertising was down 2.8% to $110.2 million. Political TV advertising, as with most other TV station groups, sank to a fraction of what it was in the third quarter of a year ago -- $1.7 million compared to $26.9 million.
The Friday morning stock market pushed Scripps’ stock down 6.8% to $15.57.
Scripps was bolstered by a 20% lift in higher retrans revenue gains from cable, satellite and telco companies to $64 million. Digital advertising sales rose 13.3% to $17.8 million, up 13.3%.
Television revenue was down 9% to $180 million, while radio revenue fell 7% to $17.9 million.
Total E.W. Scripps TV revenue decreased 7% to $216 million. Costs and expenses grew to $200 million, up from $187 million in the year-ago period, from higher TV network programming fees.
For the quarter, the net loss was $26.7 million, versus net income of $12.5 million or 15 cents per share.
Scripps expects TV revenue for the fourth quarter to be “down high teens” -- the percentage of revenue decline.
The company recently announced a new management team to support reorganization of local operations and a national media division. In October, Scripps closed a $292 million for Katz Broadcasting’s digital over-the-air broadcast networks.