Scripps October revenues increase 8.7 percent

Mon, November 08, 1999 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI - The E.W. Scripps Company’s consolidated revenues increased 8.7 percent in October to $145 million, driven by strong performance in the company’s category television and newspaper divisions.In the category television segment, which includes Home & Garden Television, the Food Network and Do It Yourself, total revenues increased 51 percent to $24.5 million. The company continues to aggressively invest in programming and consumer marketing to build ratings at its three cable television networks.The number of subscribers at Home & Garden Television reached 58.7 million in October, up 500,000 from the previous month, according to the Nielsen Homevideo Index. The number of Food Network subscribers reached 42.8 million in October, up 400,000 from the previous month, according to the Nielsen index. On Sept. 30, the company launched its third cable television network, Do It Yourself, and its integrated Web site, diynet.com.Newspaper advertising revenues moved up 17 percent to $63.8 million. Classified advertising revenues increased 20 percent to $26.4 million. Local advertising revenues increased 7.2 percent to $24.1 million. Total newspaper revenues were up 13 percent to $82.3 million. October of 1999 had one more Sunday than did October of 1998, which boosted this year’s revenues. November of 1999 has one less Sunday than the year-ago month.Broadcast television revenues decreased 22 percent to $28.8 million. The decline in revenues for the month was due to the relative absence of political advertising and the loss of network compensation to local affiliates. Television political advertising revenue during October was $800,000 compared to $10.3 million in 1998. Based on advance advertising sales for November and December, fourth quarter broadcast television revenues are expected to be down about 10 percent compared to the same period in 1998. For comparative purposes, the company's monthly revenue report excludes divested operations.The E.W. Scripps Company operates 19 daily newspapers; nine network-affiliated television stations; three TV networks, Home & Garden Television, the Food Network and Do It Yourself; and a TV programmer, Scripps Productions. The company also operates United Media, a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics; the Scripps Howard News Service; and publishes independent Yellow Pages directories. Scripps operates 31 revenue-producing Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.