E.W. Scripps Q1 TV Revenue Hits a Flat $180M

With local, national and political revenue down, E.W. Scripps' TV division’s revenue during the first quarter of 2017 was flat year-over-year, the company reported Friday.

Q1 broadcast revenue hit $180 million, which included $66.2 million in retransmission consent revenue—$12.6 million, or 24% more, than Q1 2016, Scripps said.

That, however, was mitigated by a 4.5% drop in core local and national advertising, the group said.

Local dipped 3.3% to $78 million; national was down 7.3% to $31 million; and political dropped to $1 million from $9.3 million in Q1 2016.

The broadcast group’s total expenses grew by 5% to $145 million, primarily due to increases in programming fees under network affiliation deals, it said. The group reported its Q1 profit was $34.7 million, down from $41.7 million in Q1 2016.

“The first quarter following a presidential election is often the lightest in the four-year cycle that drives our broadcast TV business,” president and CEO Rich Boehne said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we built advertising revenue as the quarter progressed, and now we’re on to partnering with local advertisers as they refine or recast their businesses.”

Scripps digital revenue, however, was up by 25% year-over-year, the company said. That largely is due to the growth of Midroll, the podcasting service.