Scripps November revenues increase 5.3 percent

Fri, December 10, 1999 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company’s consolidated revenues increased 5.3 percent in November to$145 million. The company cautioned that advance broadcast television advertising sales for December have weakened and that fourth quarter results for the division will be affected. Also, the company continues to incur costs associated with strong circulation and market share gains in the Denver newspaper market. The category television division, which includes Home & Garden Television, the Food Network and Do It Yourself, continued strong top-line growth in November, reporting a 60 percent increase in revenues to $24.7 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 58.9 million in November, up 200,000 from the previous month, according to the Nielsen Homevideo Index. The number of Food Network subscribers reached 43.5 million in November, up 700,000 from the previous month, according to the Nielsen index. Newspaper advertising revenues were flat at $62.4 million. November had one less Sunday than the same month a year ago. In October 1999, with one more Sunday than the same year-ago period, newspaper advertising revenues were up 17 percent. Newspaper advertising revenues for October and November combined were up 7.9 percent compared to the same period in 1998.In November, classified advertising revenues increased 1 percent to $21.2 million; local declined 5.8 percent to $26.2 million; national advertising revenue increased 32 percent to $3.6 million; and preprint and other advertising revenues increased 3.6 percent to $11.4 million. Total newspaper revenues were down 1.4 percent to $80 million. For October and November combined, total newspaper revenues were up 5.3 percent.Broadcast television November revenues decreased 7.7 percent to $29.4 million. The decline was due to the relative absence of political advertising and the loss of network compensation to local affiliates. Television political advertising revenue during November was $200,000 compared to $2.5 million in 1998. Fourth quarter broadcast television revenues are expected to be down at least 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.