Scripps reports revenues for August
Tue, September 18, 2001 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI – The E. W. Scripps Company’s consolidated revenues for August were $115 million, down 1.3 percent on a pro forma basis from the same month a year ago. Revenues for Scripps Networks, the company’s fastest growing operating division, were up 16 percent to $28.2 million. Scripps Networks includes national television network brands Home & Garden Television, Food Network and Do It Yourself (DIY).Subscriber growth for HGTV and Food has continued at a healthy pace. HGTV now reaches 73.4 million homes, up 7.7 million, or 12 percent, from the same month a year ago, and up 6.3 million subscribers through the first eight months of 2001. Food Network can now be seen in 66.1 million homes, up 14.3 million, or 28 percent, from August 2000, and up 11.7 million year-to-date. Pro forma newspaper revenues for the month were $58.5 million, up slightly from the same month a year ago. Newspaper advertising revenues were down 2.4 percent. Classified advertising revenue for August was down 6.3 percent primarily because of weakness in the help wanted category. Local advertising revenue declined 2.1 percent. Preprint and other advertising revenue increased 4.2 percent and national advertising was up 3.1 percent. Newspaper circulation revenue for August was up 4.5 percent from the same month a year ago.At the company’s broadcast television stations, August revenues declined 17 percent to $21.6 million. The company attributes the decline to a general weakness in broadcast television advertising and the relative absence of political advertising for the month compared to the same period a year ago. The company’s television stations generated $200,000 in political advertising in August compared to $2.6 million a year ago.Based on July and August operating results, the company had expected third quarter earnings to fall near the low end of its previously stated guidance of 38 to 46 cents per share, vs. 46 cents per share in 2000. Because of the economic uncertainty following last week’s terrorist attacks, and the effect the uncertainty is having on advertising, the company now believes earnings per share will likely fall below the low end of the previously stated guidance for both the third quarter and full year. The company previously had projected that full year earnings per share would be between $2.05 and $2.25 compared to $2.20 in 2000.The discussion and the information contained in this press release contain certain forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Such risks, trends and uncertainties, which in most instances are beyond the company’s control, include changes in advertising demand and other economic conditions; consumers’ taste; newsprint prices; program costs; labor relations; technological developments; competitive pressures; interest rates; regulatory rulings; and reliance on third-part vendors for various products and services. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national 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 national television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living, due to launch in early 2002.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.