Scripps releases 2Q results

Total company revenue drops 4.2%

The E.W. Scripps Company, owner of the Evansville Courier & Press and Henderson Gleaner, as well as Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV, reported operating results for the second quarter of 2013 that reflect an increase in local and national television advertising revenues and an increase in segment profit at the newspaper group but a drop, overall, in company revenue.

"Although masked by the near absence of political advertising in 2013, the off year for elections, our core television revenues showed good growth on the strength of expanding local audiences," said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO. "Local, national and digital advertising all grew, and retransmission fees moved up 34%.

"At the same time, expenses were down in the television division thanks to the success of our programming strategy. We now have two Scripps-owned shows on the air, Let's Ask America and The List, and partner in another, Right This Minute, which are quickly building audiences and lessening our reliance on purchased syndicated shows.

"In the newspaper division, segment profit grew despite a moderate decline in print advertising due to expense discipline. We rolled out bundled digital and print subscriptions in 11 of our 13 markets and have been pleased with the growth in new digital-only subscribers.

"Across the country this summer, we're rolling out the next generation of news apps and Internet news brands, designed to set our brands apart for engagement with fast-growing audiences through high-quality enterprise reporting and multi-platform story telling. These new digital news products are being accompanied by an expanded advertising sales force dedicated to garnering more than our share of this evolving marketplace. We're on track to add 100 experienced digital advertising sales reps in our markets by the end of the year."

Consolidated revenues were $207.9 million, a decrease of 4.2%, or $9.1 million, from the second quarter of 2012. Political advertising revenues decreased $10.4 million in this off-cycle period.

Costs and expenses for segments, shared services and corporate were $183.9 million, which represents a 0.9% decline from the prior-year period.

In the 2013 quarter, the Company reported income from operations before income taxes of $3.9 million compared to $9.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net income was $3.2 million, or 5¢ per share, in the second quarter of 2013, compared to $5.4 million, or 9¢ per share, in the second quarter of 2012. The tax benefit for the 2013 quarter includes $1.2 million, or 2¢ per share, in favorable adjustments to the reserve for prior-year income taxes.

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