earnings call

TV Soaring For Scripps In 4Q After Record 3Q

For all of 4Q, Scripps is projecting that TV revenues will be up about 80% from a year ago. Excluding the four stations it acquired from McGraw-Hill not quite a year ago, that gain is put at 35%-40%. SVP-television Brian Lawlor told analysts “it’s still really early,” adding that a lot of advertisers had been sitting on the sidelines until Election Day passed. December will be the first pure month without a political influence. We will be up year-to-year in our spot business in December.”
By
TVNewsCheck,

You can hardly tell that the E.W. Scripps Co. owns newspapers from the company’s overwhelming focus on television in its third quarter financial release and quarterly conference call. TV is breaking records left and right for the 90-year-old company while the print business continues to drag.

The election is over, so Scripps already knows that its TV group took in about $57 million in political revenues for 4Q, including about $12 million from the four stations it acquired from McGraw-Hill not quite a year ago. That takes total 2012 political to $107 million.

Story continues after the ad

For comparison, the nine stations that Scripps owned in 2010 took in $48 million from political in 2010, but saw that grow to $84 million this year.

“We loved the wall-to-wall commercials,” SVP-CFO Tim Wesolowski said of the period leading up to the election for stations in battleground state markets, such as Cincinnati, where Scripps is headquartered.

“We certainly benefitted from having two stations in Ohio, two in Florida and a station in Colorado’s capital,” said the CFO. “We had several million-dollar days in the final weeks.”

President-CEO Rich Boehne noted how the Scripps TV markets footprint lines up with states that were not just swing states this year, but tend to be the presidential battlegrounds election after election. “The bottom line is this – for Scripps, elections aren’t windfalls, they’re stepping stones,” he said.

Brand Connections

For all of 4Q Scripps is projecting that TV revenues will be up about 80%. Excluding the McGraw-Hill stations, that gain is put at 35%-40%.

Asked how business is pacing post-election, SVP-television Brian Lawlor told analysts “it’s still really early,” adding that a lot of advertisers had been sitting on the sidelines until Election Day passed.

”December will be the first pure month without a political influence. We will be up year-to-year in our spot business in December,” Lawlor said. “Even this week, since the election … our phones are ringing again. We’re seeing people coming in at point levels beyond what we had seen in the past. So there’s still a lot of money to write within the quarter.”

As the TV division delivers record performance again in 4Q, the Scripps newspapers are expected to see revenues decline in the mid-single-digits. Newspaper revenues dropped 3.7% in 3Q to $92.4 million, with ad revenues down 5.3% to $53.4 million. Local, national, preprint and classified were all down for the quarter. Even so, the newspaper segment profit was up $1.2 million to $4.2 million.

That newspaper profit was right at one-tenth of the $41.8 million profit for the television segment.

Scripps officials said things are going well with the two “home-grown” programs that the company launched in September on many of its stations to replace more expensive syndicated fare. One analyst wanted to know whether Scripps wants to put more of its own programs on the air across various dayparts.

The List and Let’s Ask America are actually the second and third programs that we’ve launched as part of our home-grown focus. We have a program called Right This Minute which we’re partners with Cox and Raycom. That was launched close to two years ago, now. That’s a daytime show, half-hour or hour. It’s cleared in all 13 of our markets, as well as on Cox and Raycom stations around the country,” Lawlor said.

“So we continue to look for the best syndicated product that’s available. But within the DNA of this company – this is the company that started HGTV – I think we still understand what it takes to create programming that will inform and entertain people. And if we felt like there’s some genres or concepts out there that we can develop, that are unique, that can engage an audience that’s not being served by the syndicated market, we would look to develop that as well,” he said.

Tags

Comments (0) -

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 25, 2016
  • 1.
    5.5/18
  • 2.
    2.6/8
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.5/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad