Scripps reports January revenues
Fri, February 09, 2001 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI – The E. W. Scripps Company’s pro forma consolidated revenues were $111 million in January, matching revenues for the same month a year ago. January 2001 revenues were affected, in part, by the month having one less Sunday than January 2000. Sunday is a major advertising day for newspapers.At Scripps Networks, the company’s fastest-growing business segment, January revenues were up 26 percent to $27.4 million. Scripps Networks includes Home & Garden Television, Food Network, the Do It Yourself network and Fine Living, which is scheduled for launch later this year.Subscriber growth for HGTV and Food continued at a healthy pace in January. HGTV now reaches 67.9 million homes, up 8.2 million, or 14 percent, from the same month a year ago and up 800,000 from December 2000. Food Network can now be seen in 55.1 million homes, up 10 million, or 22 percent, from January 2000 and up 700,000 from December.In the newspaper division, pro forma advertising revenues were down 7.1 percent to $40.9 million, reflecting the month having one less Sunday and general softness in retail advertising. Classified advertising revenues decreased 8.3 percent to $16.2 million. Local advertising revenues decreased 10 percent to $15.9 million. Total newspaper revenues decreased 3.3 percent to $55.7 million.To make the company’s year-over-year newspaper results comparable, revenues are being reported on a pro forma basis, including the Rocky Mountain News as if the recently implemented joint operating agreement had started on Jan. 1, 2000.Going forward, the company will receive a 50 percent share of the operating profits from the Denver Newspaper Agency, which began operations on Jan. 22, 2001. The agency handles business and production operations for the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, owned by MediaNews Group. The company’s share of the operating profits will be reported as “other” newspaper revenue. The company will continue to include in its operating expenses its editorial costs associated with the Rocky Mountain News.The company’s financial statements no longer will include advertising, circulation and other revenue produced by the Rocky Mountain News, nor any non-editorial costs.At the company’s broadcast television stations, revenues decreased 19 percent to$19.8 million. The decrease is attributable to weakness in the broadcast television advertising market, particularly automotive. Also, comparisons for the month were difficult at the company’s six ABC affiliated stations, which benefited from the network’s broadcast of the Super Bowl game in January 2000. Super Bowl related advertising revenues were about $2.6 million at the television stations in 2000.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, cable television networks and interactive media. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations and three cable television networks, with plans to launch a fourth.Scripps cable television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living, due to launch in the second half of 2001.The company also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT, and 31 Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.