Revenue way up at Scripps’ TV stations, down at its newspapers

The E.W. Scripps Company
Political advertising partly accounted for a 52 percent gain in television revenue in the second quarter compared to the year before, the E.W. Scripps Company announced in its earnings report Tuesday. Revenues at Scripps’ newspapers were down 4.7 percent over the second quarter of 2011. Expenses, including the cost of acquiring McGraw-Hill’s television stations at the end of 2011, were up 8.1 percent.

At the company’s newspapers, no revenue segment posted a gain. Circulation revenue declined 3.7 percent, print advertising was down 7.2 percent and digital revenue was down 3.3 percent. Scripps attributed the latter to “softness in employment advertising and a deliberate decision to eliminate the sale of certain low-margin digital products,” and noted mobile page views were up 8 percent. (Though, as my coworker Rick Edmonds has written, monetizing mobile traffic remains a challenge for publishers.)

Scripps has $167 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $204 million in debt. Interest payments were about $3.2 million. The company says it expects to reduce newspaper costs “in the low- to mid-single digits” over the next half of 2012 and expects newspaper revenues to decline by a similar percentage.

Related: What Wall Street Journal, Murdoch papers can learn from Scripps, Belo splits

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