December 9, 2013

Scripps | Tech Crunch

E.W. Scripps Co. today announced it plans to buy Newsy, a Columbia, Mo.-based video news service that started five years ago. The $35 million sale is scheduled to close Jan. 1.

Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO, said in a company press release that Newsy’s operations were built for a digital audience, which dovetails with Scripps’ own plans:

“This acquisition fits our digital strategy to run a national news brand that both enhances our local content offerings and gives us more access to the fast-growing digital news audiences and revenues on national platforms,” Boehne said.

Newsy’s 35 full-time employees along with its part-time employees will continue to operate from Columbia, the company said.

Scripps announced in mid-November that it planned to close Scripps Howard News Service, its wire agency, at the end of the year. Its clients will be transferred to McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

As part of its restructuring and content-focus strategy, Scripps plans to expand its investigative reporting in Washington, D.C., and in the process acquired DecodeDC, the political reporting site founded by former NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook.

Scripps owns 19 television stations and newspapers in 13 markets.

Scripps’ purchase of Newsy is about “buying an asset that gives it a digital video component to complement its existing TV and online services — effectively a bridge between the three areas where it already does business if you also count newspapers,” said TechCrunch writer Ingrid Lunden. “It also gives them entry into an audience that has largely turned away from some of those more traditional platforms where Scripps still bases a majority of its business.”

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