E.W. Scripps Earnings Down 27.1% On Network Sale, JOA Losses

By: E&P Staff

Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co. reported Monday that second-quarter earnings plummeted 27.1% from second quarter 2005 on a big charge related to the sale of it Shop At Home TV shopping operation and 31% drop in earnings from its shares in newspaper joint operating agreements (JOAs).

Scripps said its earnings fell to $71.1 million, or 43 cents per share from $97.6 million, or 59 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Total operating revenue, including its new Shopzilla and uSwitch interactive operations rose 18.8% from a year ago to $641.9 million, pushed by a 17% increase in revenues at Scripps Networks.

Scripps said revenue at newspapers that it alone managed was up 4.8 percent to $182 million. This figure excludes results from the Boulder Daily Camera and two other Colorado papers that Scripps contributed in exchange for 50% of a partnership with William Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group in February.

Advertising revenue at newspapers managed solely by Scripps was up 6.4 percent to $147 million, the company said.

But the newspaper segment was buffeted by big decreases in equity earnings at its JOA papers.

Equity earnings of the Rocky Mountain News, which is in a JOA with MediaNews Group’s Denver Post, plunged 68.9% to $3.1 million from $9.7 million a year ago, weighed down by a $3 million charge on depreciation related to the consolidation of production in the Denver JOA. Scripps said it will be taking that charge each quarter until the second quarter of 2007.

Equity earnings were down 18.2% at its Cincinnati JOA and 4.8% in Albuquerque.

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