By: Lucia Moses

CEO Cites Economic Slowdown

As the E.W. Scripps Co. looks for ways to trim costs, two of its bigger papers, The Cincinnati Post (including The Kentucky Post in Covington) and The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel, are cutting staffs by 18% and 1.5%, respectively.

Scripps, which reported first-quarter results Wednesday, said that, excluding unusual items, its EPS from core operations declined 22.2%, to 35 cents, from the year-ago quarter as lower ad demand held back its newspapers and TV stations. “Scripps, fundamentally, is as strong as ever, but today’s reality is that we’re in the midst of an economic slowdown that’s putting pressure on the company’s short-term results,” CEO Kenneth W. Lowe said.

From its earnings report, Scripps said it expected EPS to fall in the range of 55 cents to 65 cents for the second quarter and, if current trends continue, at the low end of its estimates of $2.30 to $2.50 for the year.

At The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Bruce Hartmann, president and publisher, circulated a staff memo Wednesday that announced the elimination of nine positions and further cost-cutting measures. “While we can and will increase our sales efforts, we also need to do a better job of controlling expenses,” wrote Hartmann to his staff. “In addition to our hiring freeze we have reduced overtime, eliminated nonessential travel and are only purchasing supplies necessary to operate.”

Lucia Moses ( is an associate editor covering business for E&P.

Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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