Scripps Reports Rise In Digital Rev In Q1
The E.W. Scripps Co. Tuesday reported operating results for the first quarter of 2012 that it said “reflect improved profitability of the company’s local media businesses, driven by strong top- and bottom-line performance at the television stations and continued moderation of the declines in newspaper revenue.”
Consolidated revenue for the company was $207 million, a 15% increase from $180 million in the first quarter of 2011. “We're off to an encouraging start in 2012,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. “Revenue in our TV and newspaper markets came in a little better than expected and the associated cash expenses were down, despite the investments we're making in new digital products and services.”
The company’s TV and newspaper divisions each saw increases in digital revenue, with digital bringing in $9.6 million overall.
“Across both divisions, we are just beginning an aggressive schedule of new product launches for smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops across all of our markets,” Boehne said. “We saw some early success with our streaming media services, particularly in the Cincinnati and Tulsa regions, when dangerous spring tornadoes swept through those markets in April. Downloads of free and paid apps skyrocketed as viewers sought ways to continue receiving potentially life-saving weather programming once the storms hit and homes lost electrical service. The investments we made in these vital new services protected the well-being of our viewers and endeared us as their essential information partner on all platforms.”
Total revenue from Scripps newspapers in the first quarter was $104 million, down 1.7% from the first quarter of 2011. The decline was largely offset by revenue growth of nearly 10% at the Naples (Fla.) Daily News. Excluding Naples, the division’s revenue would have decreased 3.8%.
Digital revenue increased slightly to $6.5 million.
Print advertising revenue for the quarter was $60.2 million, 4.6% lower than the year-ago period. Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, down 4.5% to $20.3 million
- Classified, down 4% to $20.1 million
- National, down 32% to $2.5 million
- Preprint and other, flat at $17.3 million
The year-over-year decrease in classified advertising was the smallest since the third quarter of 2006, when classified advertising was flat compared to the year-ago quarter.
First-quarter segment profit in the newspaper division rose 12% to $7.2 million, compared with $6.4 million in the first quarter of 2011.
On the television side, Digital revenue rose approximately 50% year over year to $3.1 million in the first quarter. Excluding the new stations, digital revenue grew 20%.
Overall, the company’s TV stations reported revenue for the quarter was $99.6 million, compared with $69 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a same-station basis, television revenue increased 11.7% in the quarter to $77.0 million.
Reported advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 37% to $56.4 million (up 7.4% on a same-station basis)
- National, up 28% to $25.7 million (down 4.6% on a same-station basis)
- Political was $4.7 million, compared to less than $500,000 in the 2011 quarter
Read the company’s report here.