Scripps Third Quarter Station Revenue Down 21%

E.W. Scripps reported third quarter television station revenue of $99.3 million, a 21% slide from the same quarter a year ago, which included $36 million of political revenue as well as incremental Olympics advertising on the group's three NBC-affiliated stations. Excluding the political revenue from both years, television revenues rose 7.5% in the most recent third quarter, with local ad revenue up 5%, national up 5.4% and retransmission fees growing 40%.

The Scripps stations' digital revenue increased 6.1% to $4.3 million. Third quarter revenue from newspapers was $88.3 million, down 4.4% from the prior-year period but offset slightly by the first subscription revenue increase since the fourth quarter of 2010.

Scripps' consolidated revenues were $190 million, a decrease of 14%, or $30.1 million, from the prior-year quarter. The net loss for the third quarter of 2013 was $8.9 million, or 16 cents per share.

"In television we saw, in addition to the rise in retransmission fees, an increase in local, national and digital advertising, despite an uncertain economic environment," said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO. "The television group also has closely managed expenses, helped by the success of our programming strategy."

Boehne said its homegrown shows Let's Ask America and The List, along with partially owned RightThisMinute, "have decreased programming expenses and lessened our reliance on syndicated shows."

Scripps forecasts fourth quarter television revenues to be down in the mid-20s.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.