Scripps launches interactive annual report

Thu, March 30, 2000 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company today became among the first public companies to launch its annual report on the Internet.The fully interactive Scripps 1999 annual report, “Doing it Right,” can be found on the company’s Web site at www.scripps.com. A printed version, including the company’s complete financial report, also has been distributed to shareholders. “We believe our decision to launch a robust online version of our annual report reflects our commitment at Scripps to be a leader in new media development,” said William R. Burleigh, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. “Doing it Right” contains all the elements of a traditional printed annual report, plus some added features. It includes: Fully developed thematic sections, including video, that highlight key developments within the Scripps businesses. Clearly indexed access to selected data from the company’s financial report, form 10K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A complete version of the 10K also is provided online. Links throughout to all of the Web sites operated by the Scripps newspapers, broadcast television stations, cable television networks and licensing and syndication business. Links include hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com, comics.com and rockymountainnews.com. An “Update” link that provides immediate access to the company’s current press releases, including quarterly earnings reports for 2000 and audio archives of senior management conference calls with financial analysts, reporters and investors. “Our investor relations strategy at Scripps is to provide a complete picture of the company and its prospects through channels that are most convenient to shareholders,” said Timothy E. Stautberg, vice president of communications and investor relations. “By putting an enhanced version of our 1999 annual report online, we’ve provided investors with a great resource that’s as close as their computer keyboard. What better way to tell the Scripps story than through a multimedia experience on the Web?” The 1999 Scripps online annual report also provides a direct link to the company’s investor relations site, which includes a wide range of shareholder information, including up-to-the-minute stock quotes, historical stock prices, a list of industry analysts who follow the company, a calendar of upcoming events and recent SEC filings. By visiting the investor relations site, shareholders also can choose to be notified by e-mail when important information about the company is disclosed or request other information about the company.The Scripps online annual report is in keeping with an interactive media strategy that cuts across all of the company’s businesses. The company recently announced the formation of an interactive media group led by Frank Gardner, senior vice president of interactive media. Gardner will work with each of the company’s core business segments, focusing on interactive media content, marketing and business development.On the Internet, Scripps is developing universally branded Web sites that focus on the same consumer categories as the company’s popular cable television networks. Home & Garden Television (hgtv.com), the Food Network (foodtv.com) and DIY (diynet.com) operate Web sites that, combined, average more than 2 million unique visitors and 31 million page views per month.United Media, the company’s licensing and syndication subsidiary, operates comics.com, which has benefited from the universal popularity of PEANUTS and DILBERT. Scripps also operates 27 local destination portals that extend to the Internet the respected brands and rich content of the company’s daily newspapers and broadcast television stations. Averaging 21 million page views per month, the local destination portals are designed to be the premier sources of news, information and commerce in the communities served by Scripps newspapers and television stations.In Knoxville, Tenn., Scripps has invested $12 million in its new Scripps Technology Center to accommodate its growing cable television network and interactive media businesses. The technology center houses hosting facilities for all of the Scripps Web sites.Strategic partnerships are an integral component of the company’s new media strategy. Scripps has invested in leading interactive technology companies, including Pentawave and Zatso (formerly ReacTV), that are in the forefront of developing publishing and broadcast Internet applications. The company owns 12 percent of AdOne, which operates the national, online classified advertising site ClassifiedWarehouse.com. Scripps also is one of 12 founding broadcasters that have established iBlast, a company that has developed a promising business solution to unlock the value of the digital television spectrum. Using a dedicated portion of the digital spectrum assigned to television stations, iBlast will deliver a wide array of high-speed, over-the-air broadband digital content and services direct to consumers. This digital content will include music, video, games, software and other applications.At Scripps Networks, Home & Garden Television has teamed with Microsoft’s WebTV to provide enhanced, interactive television services during HGTV’s popular, 52-week series, Restore America with Bob Vila. WebTV subscribers can get detailed information on featured home restoration projects and other program-related information during each episode.HGTV, Food and DIY have a similar partnership with Wink Communications Inc. to create interactive program enhancements and e-commerce opportunities on a variety of programs across all three networks. The partnership with Wink will allow viewers to interact with Scripps Networks programs as they happen, providing access to home improvement information, recipes, on-air promotions and retail information.The Scripps interactive media group also will work closely with managers of the company’s venture capital fund – Scripps Ventures – to identify strategic opportunities that would be a good fit with core Scripps businesses. Scripps Ventures invests in early-stage Internet businesses. Investments to date include NASDAQ-listed garden.com, an online gardening product and supply retailer, and homeportfolio.com, an online source for premium home design products. HGTV also has invested separately in the two companies.The E.W. Scripps Company operates 19 daily newspapers; 10 broadcast 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, and the Scripps Howard News Service. Scripps operates 31 revenue-producing Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.