Scripps October revenues up 24 percent, Company updates fourth quarter income, revenue guidance

Tue, November 12, 2002 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI – The E. W. Scripps Company’s consolidated revenues for October were $148 million, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago.Revenues from the company’s Scripps Networks operating division were $40.9 million, up 63 percent from October 2001. Broken down by category, Scripps Networks advertising revenues were $33.4 million, up 65 percent, and affiliate fee revenues were $7.1 million, up 61 percent.Scripps Networks includes Home & Garden Television, the Food Network, the DIY – Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living.Distribution of HGTV and Food continued to grow during October. HGTV now reaches 79.9 million homes, up 5.1 million, or 6.8 percent from the same month a year ago. Food Network can now be seen in 76.7 million homes, up 8.3 million, or 12 percent from October 2001. DIY can be seen in 12 million households and Fine Living has about 13 million subscribers. At the company’s broadcast television stations, political advertising of $12.5 million drove October revenues, which were $35.7 million, up 31 percent from the same month last year. Strong political advertising at all of the company’s television stations displaced local and national advertising.At the company’s newspapers, total October revenues were $63.5 million, up 7.1 percent from the previous year. Newspaper advertising revenues were $44.6 million, up 6.9 percent for the month, year-over-year. Broken down by category, newspaper classified advertising was up 5.9 percent, local was up 4 percent, national increased 7.4 percent and preprint and other was up 14 percent. Other newspaper revenues were $7.7 million, an increase of $1.6 million over the same month a year ago primarily because of improved operating results in Denver. The company’s share of operating income from the jointly owned Denver Newspaper Agency is reported as other newspaper revenue.Scripps completed its $49.5 million acquisition of the Shop At Home television-retailing network on Oct. 31. The company will begin reporting Shop At Home financial results in its November revenue report. GuidanceBased on October results and advance advertising sales, the company expects fourth quarter income from core operations, excluding the effects of the Shop At Home acquisition, to be near the higher end of its previously issued guidance of 78 to 88 cents per share. The previously reported fourth quarter 2001 income of 52 cents per share has been adjusted to 61 cents to reflect the new accounting rules on amortization of goodwill and other intangible assets. The company expects the Shop At Home acquisition to reduce fourth quarter income from core operations by about 5 cents per share.The company is guiding to the higher end of the range primarily because of stronger-than-expected political advertising at its broadcast television stations. Broadcast TV political advertising for the fourth quarter is expected to be about $17 million, which is $5 million more than the company had earlier projected. Total broadcasting revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be up about 20 percent.Based on advance advertising sales, the company also is revising upward its fourth quarter revenue projections for Scripps Networks. The company now expects Scripps Networks advertising revenues to grow from between 45 and 50 percent during the quarter.Forward looking statementsThis press release contains certain forward-looking statements related to the company’s businesses that are based on management’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties, including changes in advertising demand and other economic conditions, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. The company’s written policy on forward-looking statements can be found on page F-5 of its 2001 SEC Form 10K and page F-16 of its most recent Form 10Q. About ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, television retailing and interactive media. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations and four cable television networks. The company’s national television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living and Shop At Home. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 25 countries. Scripps 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, fineliving.com and comics.com.

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