Scripps files 10-K, reports final fourth quarter and full-year results

Fri, February 29, 2008 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI - The E. W. Scripps Company today filed its annual Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including final operating results for the fourth quarter and full year 2007.

The company reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $256 million, or $1.56 per share, including the effect of a non-cash charge against earnings related to its uSwitch online comparison shopping subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Net income for the same period a year earlier was $134 million, or 81 cents per share.

The company reported a $411 million non-cash, pre-tax charge against earnings in the fourth quarter for impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets related to losses and challenging business conditions at uSwitch.

The company's net loss for the full year, including the effects of the non-cash charge, was $1.6 million, or 1 cent per share, vs. net income of $353 million, or $2.14 per share, in 2006. The charge reduced net income for 2007 by $382 million or $2.32 per share.

"As we indicated when reporting preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter, the reduced levels of energy switching activity at uSwitch throughout 2007 have resulted in a non-cash write-down of the businesses' carrying value," said Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer for Scripps. "We anticipate a return to profitability at uSwitch during the first quarter of 2008 and in the meantime have tactically aligned the costs of operating the business with lower levels of anticipated revenue."

Most of the charge resulted from a general reduction in financial earnings at uSwitch and the impact this decline is expected to have on the future results at the business. Acquired by Scripps in 2006, uSwitch is an online comparison and switching service that helps consumers in the United Kingdom compare prices on car insurance, gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, digital television, broadband, credit cards, personal loans, secured loans and current accounts.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements related to the company's businesses, including the proposed separation plan, 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 2007 SEC Form 10K.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date the statement is made.

About Scripps

The E. W. Scripps Company (www.scripps.com) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 15 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.

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