E.W. Scripps, Journal Merging Broadcast Ops

The merged broadcast and digital media company, based in Cincinnati, will retain The E.W. Scripps Co. name. Both companies' newspapers will be spun off into a new company to be called Journal Media Group, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee. The new Scripps will operate 34 TV stations reaching 18% of TV homes and 35 radio stations in eight markets. Current Scripps shareholders will end up with majority stakes in both companies. More on this story after the companies' conference call with reporters at 9 a.m. ET.
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TVNewsCheck,

The E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications have agreed to merge their broadcast operations and spin off and then merge their newspapers, creating two separately traded public companies.

The merged broadcast and digital media company, based in Cincinnati, will retain The E.W. Scripps Co. name, and the Scripps family shareholders will continue to have voting control. The company will have approximately 4,000 employees across its television, radio and digital media operations and is expected to have annual revenue of more than $800 million.

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The newspaper company will be called Journal Media Group and will combine Scripps’ daily newspapers, community publications and related digital products in 13 markets with Journal Communications’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin community publications and affiliated digital products. The company, with expected annual revenue of more than $500 million and approximately 3,600 employees, will be headquartered in Milwaukee.

The Scripps and Journal Communications boards of directors have approved the stock-for-stock transactions, which are subject to customary regulatory and shareholder approvals.

The deal is expected to close in 2015.

When the deal closes, current Scripps shareholders will own 69% of the new Scripps broadcast company and 59% of the new Journal newspaper company. Current Journal shareholders will own the remaining minority stakes in the two companies.

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Scripps shareholders of record just prior to the closing will receive a $60 million special dividend.

The companies project about $35 million in combined transaction synergies in the near term.

The new Scripps broadcast company will become the 11th largest TV station group, according to the TVNewsCheck/BIA/Kelsey ranking, which is based on TV revenue.It will operate 34 TV stations reaching 18% of TV homes. It will also operate 35 radio stations in eight markets, all former Journal properties.

“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,” said Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Co., who will continue at the helm of Scripps. “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.”

“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,” said Steven J. Smith, chairman-CEO of Journal Communications. “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.”

Tim Stautberg, senior vice president, newspapers for Scripps, will become president, CEO and a director of Journal Media Group upon completion of the transaction.

Journal Communications’ Class A and Class B shareholders will receive 0.5176 Scripps Class A Common shares and 0.1950 shares in Journal Media Group for each Journal Communications share. Scripps shareholders will receive 0.2500 shares in Journal Media Group for each Class A Common Share and each Common Voting Share they hold in Scripps.

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 28, 2016
  • 1.
    2.8/10
  • 2.
    1.9/7
  • 3.
    1.7/6
  • 4.
    1.4/5
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.4/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

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  • Maureen Ryan

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  • 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.

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