Scripps 4Q Core TV Station Rev Up 17%
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported fourth quarter television station revenue was $115 million, a decrease of $36.7 million from the year-ago quarter or a drop of 24.2%. The prior-year period included $56.9 million of political revenue.
Core local and national television advertising revenue rose 17%, rebounding and growing in the near absence of political spending compared to 2012.
Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 15% to $63 million.
- National, up 22% to $31.6 million.
- Political, $2.1 million compared to $56.9 million in the 2012 quarter.
- Retransmission fees, up 42% to $11.2 million
- Digital revenue increased 7.9% to $4.7 million.
Total segment expenses decreased 6.1% in fourth quarter 2013, primarily related to reductions in incentive compensation and lower marketing and promotion costs. The prior-year period included incremental marketing and promotion costs to support the launch of Let’s Ask America and The List.
Fourth-quarter segment profit in the television division was $33.8 million, down 6.9% compared to $65.3 million in the prior-year period.
Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said: “Our growing television operations finished 2013 strong, rebuilding their core local and national advertising categories in the off year for political spending and delivering strong growth in retransmission revenue. We expect our core business to grow again in 2014, and with the expected strength in political advertising in the second half, television is set up for a good year.
“In the year ahead, we’ll also see the early results of our unique paid digital content strategy at WCPO.com in Cincinnati as well as audience and advertiser reaction to a new suite of mobile and tablet products in all our local TV and newspaper markets. Our sites also have migrated to a new platform offering a better and more advanced experience based on responsive design. These investments in digital products for advertisers and audiences have been backed up by the addition of more than 100 sales professionals to drive our aggressive digital revenue strategy.”