Scripps Buys 70% Of Shop At Home Network

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(AP) Shareholders of Shop At Home Inc. have approved the sale of a 70% stake in the nation’s fourth largest TV retailer to media conglomerate E.W. Scripps Co.

The vote Wednesday clears the way for Scripps to enter the home-shopping market, which the company calls a growing $6 billion industry.

The $45.9 million sale was to be completed Thursday and the network’s 500 Nashville-based employees will become Scripps employees on Friday, Shop At Home spokeswoman Kearstin Patterson said.

Shareholders also voted to change Shop At Home’s corporate name to Summit America Television Inc. The change is effective Friday.

The deal also provides Shop At Home with a $47.5 million loan to help the company pay off some $92.5 million in debt obligations. Shop At Home will keep a 30% stake in the TV network and ownership of five TV stations.

In trading Thursday, shares of Scripps fell 11 cents to close at $77.19 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Shop At Home fell 2 cents to $2.62 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The Shop at Home network reaches about 42 million households. Shop at Home sells merchandise through broadcast, cable, satellite, and Internet channels. Sales for the 2002 fiscal year were $195.8 million and net income was $22.6 million.

Scripps, which reported a $138 million profit on $1.4 billion in sales in fiscal 2001, operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 TV stations, and four cable TV networks, including Home & Garden Television and Food Network. It also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, and 31 Web sites.

On the Net:

Scripps: http://www.scripps.com

Shop At Home: http://shopathometv.com

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