Scripps, Journal Merge Broadcast Properties, To Spin Off Newspapers
July 31, 2014 at 3:35 AM (PT)
JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS INC. and E.W. SCRIPPS CO. have announced a merger of their broadcast operations and the spinoff of the companies' newspapers in a stock swap. JOURNAL's radio and television stations and SCRIPPS' television stations will be merged into CINCINNATI-based E.W. SCRIPPS CO., while the newspapers will merge into a new publicly-traded company, JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP. SCRIPPS' TIMOTHY E. STAUTBERG has been named CEO of JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP, while JOURNAL's STEVEN J. SMITH will be non-executive Chairman of JMG. RICHARD A. BOEHNE will remain Chairman, President, and CEO of SCRIPPS. SCRIPPS shareholders will own 69% of SCRIPPS and 59% of JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP, while JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS shareholders will end up with 31% of SCRIPPS and 41% of JMG. SCRIPPS shareholders will also get a $60 million cash dividend. Closing is expected in 2015. JOURNAL's STEVE WEXLER will remain in charge of the radio operations under SCRIPPS.
BOEHNE said, "In one motion, we're creating an industry-leading local television company and a financially flexible newspaper company with the capacity and vision to help lead the evolution of their respective industries. Making the combinations even more appealing are the rich histories of these two organizations, both driven by a deep commitment to public service through enterprise journalism. For shareholders, this deal should unlock significant value as both companies gain efficiency, scale and more focus on the industry dynamics unique to these businesses."
SMITH said, "This transaction will create two solid media businesses that will continue to serve their communities with a commitment to integrity and excellence that has been built over many years. JOURNAL's radio and television stations will add depth and breadth to the SCRIPPS TV group and additional expertise to its management team. The formation of the new JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP, headquartered in MILWAUKEE, will continue a tradition of exceptional print and digital journalism in 14 markets across the country. These companies will offer a combination of excellent local media assets and an incredible array of talent in our employees. We look to the future with great optimism and a continued sense of purpose in providing relevant, differentiated content to our local communities across the country."
JOURNAL owns radio clusters in MILWAUKEE, OMAHA, TUCSON, KNOXVILLE, BOISE, SPRINGFIELD, MO, TULSA, and WICHITA, all of which will move into SCRIPPS ownership. JOURNAL's television properties in BOISE, FORT MYERS, GREEN BAY, LANSING, LAS VEGAS, MILWAUKEE, NASHVILLE, OMAHA, and TUCSON will likewise become part of SCRIPPS, which owns stations in WEST PALM BEACH, TAMPA, BALTIMORE, CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND, DETROIT, INDIANAPOLIS, KANSAS CITY, TULSA, DENVER, SAN DIEGO, and BAKERSFIELD.
JOURNAL's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL and other publications will join SCRIPPS' KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, NAPLES DAILY NEWS, TREASURE COAST (FL) NEWSPAPERS, ANDERSON INDEPENDENT MAIL, CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES, SAN ANGELO STANDARD-TIMES, ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS, VENTURA COUNTY STAR, REDDING RECORD SEARCHLIGHT, KITSAP SUN, MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL, EVANSVILLE COURIER AND PRESS, HENDERSON GLEANER, and WICHITA FALLS TIMES RECORD NEWS under JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP.