E.W. Scripps Second Quarter Revenues Up In Wake Of Journal, Granite Acquisitions; Radio Flat
August 7, 2015 at 4:52 AM (PT)
The E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY second quarter (NYSE: SSP) revenues from continuing operations rose 66% to $198 million, with $72 million of the $78 million increase coming from the addition of the JOURNAL and GRANITE radio and television stations.
On an adjusted combined basis to reflect how things would have been if the company had owned the JOURNAL and GRANITE stations before last year's quarter, operating revenues would have risen 3%, with retransmission payments and digital revenues driving the growth. Radio revenues on a comparable basis were flat at $19.4 million, with segment profit up slightly from $4.6 million to $4.9 million. Overall, net loss from continuing operations was $13 million (15 cents/share).
Chairman/Pres./CEO RICH BOEHNE said, “On APRIL 1, we smoothly completed our transaction with JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS and moved ahead into a full quarter of operations with 33 television stations, 34 radio stations and a complement of local and national digital media brands.
“The remainder of 2015 is focused on integrating these new stations and positioning us for the tremendous opportunity of 2016. Our large collection of stations in key swing states makes SCRIPPS one of the most valuable platforms for political advertising in presidential election years, and 2016 could be a record year for campaign spending to reach those most critical voters. Also next year, we expect retransmission revenue to jump more than 50 percent thanks to step ups and renewals of agreements with our cable and satellite TV distribution partners.
“Although the newspaper spinoff and broadcast merger transformed Scripps into one of the larger local television groups in the country, we see opportunity to further strengthen our broadcast footprint while also building and investing in businesses that take advantage of new media technologies, emerging media marketplaces and shifting consumer habits. Our growing collection of digital brands, including NEWSY, WEATHERSPHERE, and an extensive network of local news brands, continues to be an area where we are investing in business models with strong organic growth.
“Two weeks ago that collection expanded through the purchase of podcast industry leader MIDROLL MEDIA, a five-year-old company that creates podcast shows, offers a terrific podcast-serving app called Howl, and generates revenue for well over 200 other podcast shows. MIDROLL’s high-quality storytelling, comedy, journalism and other entertainment categories fit well with the SCRIPPS mission and strategy for increasing the reach of our national digital brands.”
The company's guidance is for radio revenue to be flat to down low single digits for third quarter, with TV revenue also down mid-single digits due to less political revenue. Digital revenue is projected to rise in the mid-20s, with MIDROLL contributing much of that.