Scripps' Last Pre-Radio Quarter: Revenues Up, Loss Increases With Merger Costs
May 11, 2015 at 3:52 AM (PT)
The E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY's final quarterly report before adding radio to its offerings saw first quarter 2015 consolidated operating revenues up 5.3% to $214.5 million, with television operating revenues up 17% to $120 million, attributed to a doubling of retransmission consent revenue and additional revenue from two stations acquired from GRANITE.
Net loss widened from $612,000 to $5.1 million (-1 to -9 cents/share), attributed to costs of completing the acquisition of radio and television stations from JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS and spinning off newspapers to the new JOURNAL entity in the companies' merger; the merger activities represented $6.1 million of the pre-tax loss.
The company disclosed on its conference call that the radio stations being acquired from JOURNAL saw revenue increase 5% to $15.3 million in first quarter, boosted by GREEN BAY PACKERS playoff revenue.
Pres./CEO RICH BOEHNE said, "The first quarter at SCRIPPS was focused on completing our transaction with JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS, which closed on APRIL 1st, creating one of the nation's largest independent station ownership groups. We now have 33 television stations covering nearly one in five U.S. households as well as 34 radio stations and a complement of strong local and national digital media brands.
"To provide clarity for our investors, beginning in the second quarter we will report results in four segments: television, radio, digital and syndication and other. While local television will account for a large majority of our revenue, we decided it's important for investors to understand separately the dynamics of our radio group as well as the investments and growing businesses that we manage in our digital operations.
"The first quarter saw strong growth in our television retransmission revenue, which flowed from new agreements covering about a third of our pay TV households. We are already focused on our retransmission opportunity for 2016 as well as the promise of strong election-year spending and the realization of benefits from the JOURNAL stations. We are ramping up to a big year in 2016."