E.W. Scripps announced TV station revenue of $73.9 in the fourth quarter, a 20.8% decrease from the same quarter a year before. The previous fourth quarter enjoyed $26 million in political advertising; taking political out of both the 2008 and 2009 fourth quarters reveals that revenue was up 5.4% in 2009's fourth.
Local advertising was up 2.9% and national was up 7.2%. Auto advertising was flat, but Scripps reports it was up 12% in December year over year.
Retransmission consent revenues more than doubled in the quarter to $2 million.
"Local and national advertising revenue at the TV stations bounced back nicely in the fourth quarter, and that upward trend continues in the early part of this year," said Scripps President/CEO Rich Boehne.
"We entered 2010 as a financially strong company with minimal debt, committed to building value by providing high-quality content, marketplaces and public service to communities across the country," he continued. "The discipline and focus demonstrated by our talented employees in 2009 now affords us the opportunity to look ahead and build for the future."
Scripps' consolidated revenues were $217 million, an 18% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2008.
The television division reported segment profit of $14.7 million in the fourth quarter.
Scripps' newspaper division reported $117 million in revenue for the quarter, a 15% slide from the same quarter last year.
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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.