E.W. Scripps grew local TV station revenue by 17% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $330 million -- largely due to its acquisition of a number of new stations.
Without those deals, Scripps had a 21% decline due to high political advertising sales of $114 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Scripps added new stations from deals with Gray Television, Cordillera Communications, and Nexstar Media Group in the period. Scripps now operates 60 TV stations in 42 markets.
Core advertising -- excluding political advertising, and without the new station deals -- shows Scripps stations rising 4% in revenue in the period. Including those TV stations, core advertising rose 67% to $199 million.
Total retransmission revenue was up 42% to $111 million. Scripps also says 40% of its current retransmission agreements with pay TV providers will be renegotiated in 2020.
Its national media businesses -- Katz Networks, the locally derived digital TV networks group; Stitcher, an on-demand Internet radio service; and Newsy, a U.S. news network -- grew 32% in the period to $113 million due to Triton, a digital audio technology/measurement service, an acquisition that closed in November 2018.
Overall, Scripps revenue grew 21% to $444 million. For the year, it posted 17% higher revenue to $1.4 billion, and a $22.3 million loss from continuing operations versus net income from continuing operations of $56.7 million.
Early Friday morning trading of Scripps stock was up 4.6% to $13.05.