February 26, 2013

The E.W. Scripps Company
Political advertising revenue at Scripps’ television stations in the fourth quarter of 2012 was “higher than the full-year political total reported in any previous year,” the company said in an earnings report Tuesday. Local and national advertising revenue was up as well; local advertising brought in nearly as much as political ads did. All that cash led to a dramatic gain in segment profit for Scripps’ stations in the fourth quarter: “$65.3 million, compared with $23.2 million in the year-ago period,” the release said.

At Scripps’ newspapers, which include The Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel, circulation and print-ad revenue were down, and digital revenue scratched a small gain.

Newspaper division operating revenue from national advertisers was down 28 percent in the fourth quarter and down 31 percent over the entire year. “The papers are preparing for a move in the first half of 2013 toward a new – bundled – subscription strategy for print and digital products,” the release said.

Overall, operating revenue at the newspapers was down nearly 5 percent in the fourth quarter and nearly 4 percent in 2012. The company said it expects revenues and expenses at its newspapers in 2013 to “decline at a low-single-digit rate, with the decline in expenses being greater than the decline in revenue.”

Scripps CEO Rich Boehne told Poynter’s Rick Edmonds last year he “wants to introduce a version of paid digital content at Scripps’ dozen-plus local television stations as well,” a move that would “put Scripps among the first to experiment with paid digital on a broadcast news site,” Edmonds wrote. Boehne said he was “willing to invest from a TV base to compete with local newspapers in that emerging market.”

Previously: Revenue way up at Scripps’ TV stations, down at its newspapers | The tale of 3 paywalls: E.W. Scripps goes all in, Gannett brags, Washington Post thaws

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

More News

Back to News